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Cosmos - A Personal Voyage


Sagan begins with an introduction of the known universe & the concept that Man's study of the cosmos is the universe's way of knowing itself, & Man becoming one with it. He establishes the great vastness of the known universe, but that the Laws of Physics remain as a reference throughout. We are taken through galaxies that have been mutilated by events, to the Local Group, to a few wonders within the Milky Way, then to our home, the Earth. A short treatment of the Orion Nebula, closest Stellar Nursery to Earth. The findings of Eratosthenes, the loss of the Library of Alexandria, & the importance of modern politics to fund science today. Sagan finishes with the introduction of the Cosmic Calendar.


Using Japanese histroy, Sagan uses the Battle of Dan-no-ura to establish the roles of Artifical & Natural Selection in the changing & improvement of a species, thereby establishing that Evolution in fact exist & is a Natural Process. We return to the Cosmic Calendar to review the Earth's process of Molecular Biology & its subsiquent arrival to more complex organisms. After 4 billion years, this process leads to the existance of Mankind. The symbiotic relationship between of all life, the intergration of all living things that exist today is the result of this process. The atoms that makeup our universe & our world could have only been created in now long dead stars. The universe within our bodies contains the same complexity & mystery as the universe outside. A short treatment of DNA molecular dynamics is reviewed. Sagan concludes by reviewig the findings of Miller & Urey [2], providing proof that Molecular Biology occures naturally. He also speculates on a form of exobiology [2].


We begin with the comparison of the superstition of Astrology gaveway to the science of  Astronomy. A short discussion of the achievements of the Anasazi & how the importance of agriculture governed the early study of Astronomy in all previous cultures. Sagan reminds us that the imaginative & investigative mind go hand in hand with new discovery. We then follow the life & career of Johannes Kepler, the first modern astronomer. Eventually, after religious exile, Kepler worked with Tyco Brahe for a short period of time before his death. Kepler eventually gained access to Brahee's detailed & precise observations. Eventually, Kepler reasoned that the planets orbit the sun in an ellipse, not a perfect circle. Kepler's three laws of planetary motion were established.


Sagan begins with the Tunguska Event. The accounts throughout history as comets being the harbingers of death & change, and their effects on man's history. A short treatment of man's superstition and the origins of astrology is presented. How comets form from the Oort Cloud, become short period comets and their inevitable collision with a planet. The account of the Canterbury Monks of 1178 when the moon was struck and may or may not have created the crater Giordano Bruno. A short explanation of the scientific method. An introduction to the Electromagnetic Spectrum and the eventual exploration of Venus & its relation to today's concern on Greenhouse gases, due to man's mismanagement of the Earth. Man's stewardship of the Earth was one of Sagan's biggest concerns.



Using 'The War of the Worlds', Sagan leads us on a short histroy of the careers of Percival Lowell & Robert Goddard, eventually leading to a study of the geography Mars. In 1976, the Viking Probes landed, raising more questions than were answered, as this is the true nature of pure science. After a treatment of Carbon-Based Molecular Biology [~], Sagan prophesies on the present projects of Odyssey, Spirit, & Opportunity, 30 years before their existance. [1] [2] The 'Terraforming' of Mars for Man's habitation will be the inevitable step of the next century.

"Unless Mankind is able to establish any permanency on the other bodies of our solar system, we will be doomed to a destiny of extinction."  DO




Cosmos Series - A Personal Voyage - Carl Sagan

Episode 1 - The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

Episode 2 - One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue

Episode 3 - Harmony of the Worlds

Episode 4 - Heaven and Hell

Episode 5 - Blues for a Red Planet

Episode 6 - Traveller's Tales

Episode 7 - The Backbone of Night

Episode 8 - Travels in Space and Time

Episode 9 - The Lives of the Stars

Episode 10 - The Edge of Forever

Episode 11 - The Persistence of Memory

Episode 12 - Encyclopaedia Galactica

Episode 13 - Who Speaks for Earth