Tag Archives: Cosmos

“A Level of Connectivity”

the carina nebula

The Carina Nebula

Those of you who’ve been visiting for a while likely remember my passion for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and its predecessor from 1980.

Lately, I’ve had a hankering to watch the episodes again. Not sure if it’s the cooler weather, or just the way Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson spin tales of science and history in such assuring, calm voices.

Maybe it something to do with humankind landing on a comet. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!?

I was reminded of all this the other day when a friend shared a brief statement from NDT – puts a few things back into perspective, and makes me feel connected to the planet, the universe, and you.

Cosmos is on Netflix now. I highly recommend it for group or solitary viewing on those long winter nights, when we simply can’t be outside staring at the stars ourselves. How incredible that we have such information and imagery available to us.

Also, today would have been my dad’s 69th birthday. I’m certain he would have been a big fan of the new Cosmos, and in that thought I have a whole new level of connectivity.

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Space Guru Sagan

carl sagan up close sittingI’ve mentioned Carl Sagan here and there, especially with the release of the new Cosmos.

A while back, I added this quote to the closing of my email signature, and the words continue to take on new and deeper meaning as I learn more about the universe(s?) and our position within it:

“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”

Although I recognized Sagan as the driving force behind the original Cosmos series, I knew very little about the man himself. In recent months, I’ve extended my interest to his widow and collaborator, Ann Druyan, an accomplished writer and enthusiast of her own merit.

Yesterday, while catching up on the March issue of Smithsonian, I turned to an article I’d forgotten was nestled within the magazine. I admit to still be working my way through it, but so far, it’s been a great insight into the man himself. I love how Carl Sagan is this guru space orator whom we put on a pedestal and, at the same time, a mere human.

I wish I’d been aware enough to pay attention while the man was still living, but feel so fortunate to exist in an era that’s open to not only his knowledge, but his musings.

So, why is Carl Sagan Truly Irreplaceable?

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Required Watching

Cosmos eye in the sky logo opening

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me once again mention the new Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson and an amazing opportunity for free, entertaining education.

Three episodes have now aired, and are available to you, without commercials, online 24/7. Adults and children alike are experiencing the beautiful and fascinating presentation of science and humanity that is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Happily, so much more is to come. Like, 10 more episodes to come.

I’ve enjoyed all of it immensely, even those times that I tried to watch late at night and ended up falling asleep. NDT has a very soothing voice… it’s like the universe’s best bedtime story. The visual, audio and content are just beyond words. This stuff is epic – and real.

Further, I feel I owe it to myself, my daughter and my society to participate in this happening. Although the subject matter is literally, in part, light years away, numerous aspects of it take place within our atmosphere, and within our bodies. The work that people like Tyson are doing enlivens the past, clarifies the present and, hopefully, guides our future. Maybe a grade-school viewer will be inspired to help us one day breathe cleaner air. Maybe a high school babysitter will share some of what she’s learned with wide-eyed charges. Maybe someone who’s never heard the real, undeniable facts of evolution will encounter a new, fuller kind of spiritual experience. Cosmos provides the opportunity, and we have the choice to seize it.

All you have to do is watch.

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Lakes of Ice Beneath Blankets of Stars

Holland State Park Lake Michigan

Just a note to say we had a great weekend full of ice and stars.

On Saturday we got together with my sister and her husband, who live relatively close to the shoreline of Lake Michigan. If you’re not from the area, you might not know that the Great Lakes have come close to freezing solid this winter (not the norm; thank you, polar vortex). The result is a landscape vastly different from the familiar sand and water of the summer.

In the picture above, most of the people you see are walking on the lake. Not on the beach. On the lake. The hills and ridges are waves, and the green and white tower is the end of a pier. It was very surreal. From atop those waves, we could see moving water… way out on the horizon.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Martian Sunrise Sunday was a day my husband and I have anticipated for literally years. The new ‘Cosmos’ with Neil deGrasse Tyson premiered on network television, and it was so cool. We weren’t able to concentrate as fully as we’d have liked (because, toddler), but it was still fantastic to be a part of this thing. We even made NDT’s own astronomy themed cocktail: The Martian Sunrise. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

To your week!

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Beneath the Ice of Europa

Jupiter's moon EuropaGonna cheat and link you to a cool little article about aliens.

Well, not really. It’s about the theory that possibly existent conditions could be favorable for the sustaining of potential life. So, aliens.

The point I took away, as I have from so many other things before, is that the universe is vast, and we are so completely clueless about it. Heck, we’re ignorant about what’s at the bottom of our own oceans, let alone the water forms on one of Jupiter’s moons.

If we’re not paying attention to the things scientists say about space – if we’re implying to our children that we have it all figured out because of cosmic favoritism – we’re missing out on the real magic. Wonder and awe do not have to cease just because our telescopes are bigger.

Whatever is, or isn’t, out there, I plan to be listening.

Also, Cosmos Cometh.

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