19 COMMENTS

  1. He was my childhood idol. Cosmos was a formative influence on me. When I was 6 years old I tried reading Dragons of Eden, because I saw him as a source of revelation. It never occurred to me that religious stories were believed by anyone, just as no one believed Goldilocks. Sagan got to me first.

    Carl Sagan – ‘A Glorious Dawn’ ft Stephen Hawking (Symphony of Science)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  2. Carl Sagan’s magnificent exhortation to care for our world and for each other, motivated by the inspiring poetic vastness of the universe is a great principle for guiding our behaviour.

    In my childhood I was taught a nonsensical alternative system of guiding precepts by Catholic priests and brothers. 

    On the same day I revist Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot for the umpteenth time, I am reading that some of the purveyors of that childhood system were involved in the pack rape and possibly even murder of orphans in their care. That anyone is still a Catholic in the light of such horrors is bewildering and depressing.

    But the great words about the Pale Blue Dot are so much louder and stronger I have hope that truth will win.

  3. Many do not appreciate the distances involved!

     Poised to cross into interstellar space: This image, taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, shows a volcanic plume on the Jupiter Moon Io –
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

    This latest image taken by Voyager and released by Nasa shows the Earth as a dot in the solar system as the twin spacecraft explore the edge of our solar system –
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

    The probe is still detecting ‘spikes’ in the intensity of cosmic ray electrons – which lead scientists to think it’s still within the ‘heliosheath’, the very outer edge of our solar system.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

    For the past year, Voyager 1 used its instruments to explore the new region. It appeared to be the cosmic doldrums where solar winds streaming out from the sun at 1 million mph have dramatically eased http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

    Voyager is now detecting the first traces of ‘interstellar winds’ – the signs it is finally reaching the edges of solar system
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

  4.  I too read Dragons of Eden (was on my fathers bookshelf) at 12 still a Mormon (my father an atheist, my mother still in the church at the time) it was the first time I understood what evolution actually meant and latter when the church tried to ridicule it I quietly knew they where not only wrong but lying.  Certainly made my transition to atheism a few years latter much easier.

  5. Without in any-way diminishing the  contribution of Carl Sagan, we should not forget another great publicist of space science, (now Sir) Patrick Moore who now in his 90s, is still putting out regular TV on astronomy and space in the longest ever TV series on space.  (Started 1965 and still going!)

    BBC Sky at Night was first launched in June 1965. The first issue, which featured Patrick Moore on the cover and included a copy of Patrick’s Moon map as a free gift, sold out and back issues are no longer available. Copies of Issue 1 have since sold for over £100 on eBay.In April 2007, the magazine celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Sky at Night on BBC TV with a specially-themed issue, which was produced in two different covers. -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B

    The Russian space program used Patrick’s Luna maps and treated him as a celebrity.

  6.    – bluebird
    Had never heard of  Sir P M ’till he was mentioned here a while back.

    While Carl Sagan was promoting the Planetary Society in the USA, others you may have heard of, were promoting similar objectives in the British Interplanetary Society.

    The British Interplanetary Society was originally founded in 1933 by Philip E Cleator in the city of Liverpool, England. Cleator was interested in rockets and set about starting his own society. This began with his article “The Possibilities of Interplanetary Travel” published in Chambers Journal in January 1933.

      The founding members in the first ten years or so of its formation includes:
    Philip E.Cleator; Arthur C.Clarke; Kenneth Gatland, Archibald Low, Val Cleaver, Harry Ross, Ralph Smith, Patrick Moore. – http://www.horizonar.co.uk/499…  

    The first issue of JBIS was only a six-page pamphlet but it does have the distinction of being the worlds oldest surviving astronautical publication, given that the BIS is the oldest organisation in the world still in its original form.

    The societies magazine Spaceflight is also very old and was first published in 1956. 

    Project Daedalus (1973-1978) http://www.horizonar.co.uk/med

    Project MoonShip (1937-1939+) http://www.horizonar.co.uk/med

    Project Boreas (2006) http://www.horizonar.co.uk/med

  7. I remember seeing this the first time and I had tears in y eyes and watching it again has brought tears to my eyes again!

    Profoundly beautiful words from a truly inspirational human being.

    Happy Birthday Mr Sagan!  Have no fear – this is sure to outlast all the world’s major religions!

Leave a Reply