Cosmos: A personal Voyage

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The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.

Our contemplations of the cosmos stir us. There is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice a faint sensation, as if a distant memory of falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the grandest of mysteries. The size and age of the cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home, the Earth. For the first time, we have the power to decide the fate of our planet and ourselves.

This is a time of great danger. But our species is young and curious and brave. It shows much promise. In the last few millennia, we've made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the cosmos and our place within it. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.

We're about to begin a journey through the cosmos. We'll encounter galaxies and suns and planets life and consciousness coming into being, evolving and perishing. Worlds of ice and stars of diamond. Atoms as massive as suns and universes smaller than atoms. But it's also a story of our own planet and the plants and animals that share it with us.

And it's a story about us: How we achieved our present understanding of the cosmos how the cosmos has shaped our evolution and our culture and what our fate may be.

This is how Carl Sagan started this wonderful thirteen-part television serial that covered a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origin of life and a perspective of our place as humans in the universe.

Ann Druyan later commented this:

When Carl Sagan, Steven Soter and I (Ann Druyan) wrote the Cosmos TV series in the late 1970s a lot of things where different. Back then, the U.S. and the Soviet Union held the hole planet in their perpetual hostage crisis called the Cold War. The wealth and scientific ingenuity of our civilization was being squandered on a runaway arms raise. Then employed half the world scientists and infested the world with 50.000 nuclear weapons.

So much has happened since then. The Cold War is history and science has made great strides. We've completed the spacecraft recognizance of the Solar System the preliminary mapping of the visible universe that surrounds us and we've charted the universe within: the human genome. When Cosmos was first broadcast there was no World Wide Web, it was a different world.

What a tribute to Carl Sagan a scientist who took many a punch for daring to speculate that even after 20 of the most eventful years in the history of science Cosmos requires few revisions and indeed is rich in prophecy. Cosmos is both the history of the scientific enterprise and an attempt to convey the spiritual high of its central revelation: Our oneness with the universe.

Now, please, enjoy Cosmos, the proud saga of how through the searching of 40.000 generations of our ancestors we have come to discover our coordinates in space and in time. And how, through the awesomely powerful method of science we have been able to reconstruct the sweep of cosmic evolution and defined our own part in its great story.

List of Episodes:

  • Episode 1: "The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean"
  • Episode 2: "One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue"
  • Episode 3: "The Harmony of the Worlds"
  • Episode 4: "Heaven and Hell"
  • Episode 5: "Blues for a Red Planet"
  • Episode 6: "Travellers' Tales"
  • Episode 7: "The Backbone of Night"
  • Episode 8: "Journeys 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?"