We love science here at GFR, and we love people who can inspire passion about science in others nearly as much. The late Carl Sagan was one of the very best people ever when it came to that latter feat, and his series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage inspired a sense of wonder about our marvelous universe in people of all ages. It’s been over 30 years since the series first aired, but now it’s rising from the ashes as Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, set to air on Fox next year. Hoping to get the series some high-profile exposure, Fox premiered a 30-second teaser in the midst of the World Series last night. You can check it out above.
The Voyager 1 probe made history last month when scientists agreed that it had finally, officially ventured beyond our solar system and entered interstellar space. Even if Voyager’s distance traveled is not even a gnat’s eyelash when considered against the unfathomable scale of our universe, it was still an exciting landmark, one that reminds us that our species is capable of great accomplishments when we’re not so facedown in the mud that we lose sight of the stars.
You’ve all probably heard of the so-called “Golden Records” that were included on the Voyager craft. They contain tons of images, sounds, and information about our species and our world, designed to serve as a sort of time capsule of who and what we were at the time we sent Voyager 1 and 2 off into the void. They also contained copies of a letter from then-President Jimmy Carter, a greeting to any extraterrestrial explorers who might someday cross paths with Voyager. (Admittedly, a very unlikely scenario given the sheer size of our galaxy, and the comparative tininess of Voyager. But you never know.) While the aliens obviously wouldn’t speak English, the many different languages included on the Records would theoretically serve as a sort of Rosetta Stone to help them interpret our messages.
Oh, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Are you ever wrong? And are you ever not smashingly dressed? I mean, this sun vest…
Neil deGrasse Tyson is really working his upcoming gig as host of Cosmos Space Time Odyssey, a resurrection of Carl Sagan’s famous series Cosmos, a series due to air in 2014 and produced by Seth MacFarlane and, um, Fox.
In celebration of YouTube’s “Geek Week” (don’t they know that every week is geek week on the internet?), Neil dGT, otherwise known as “your own personal astrophysicist,” offers 10 reasons to love science. He all but dares viewers not to love these scientific snippets.
Just a quick note that you may want to watch this on the biggest screen you can, with the highest definition available. You won’t be disappointed.
There is only one thing wrong with the above trailer, and it pains me to say those words. It’s when Fox’s name shows up before the logo for the National Geographic Channel. It completely took me out of the clip, and even when NatGeo’s name did come up and restored a modicum of due respect for the project, it was over. These are just dumb words falling out of my mouth, currently agape because Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, just in its trailer alone, has already exceeded some of my expectations for this upcoming series, an ethereal sequel to Carl Sagan’s landmark universe-exploring PBS documentary series from 1980. In fact, my one mouth spawned its own separate mouth, Queen Alien style, and it is also hanging down past my chin.
We live in fascinating but troubling times when it comes to science. Each new month seems to bring more fantastical ways in which the science fiction of yesteryear is becoming the science reality of today. Unfortunately, those hopeful stories are constantly interspersed with tales of yahoos treating science, at best, like an elective they don’t want to participate in, and at worst, like a conspiracy designed solely to undermine their personal religious beliefs. Perhaps more than ever before, we need people like Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. We need passionate defenders of science, people who can make the younger generation excited for and enthusiastic about science. We need…well, Cosmos.
The late Carl Sagan’s iconic 1980 series Cosmos did wonders instilling enthusiasm and wonder about space in a generation too young to have lived through the most productive years of the space race. Now Cosmos is finding new life, courtesy of two well-known figures, one you’d expect to be involved with a project like this (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) and one likely to make you do a double-take (Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane). Now Fox has announced that a new, 13-episode run of Cosmos will indeed hit the air sometime in 2014.
Word that MacFarlane was spearheading a new incarnation of Cosmos first broke in 2011, and there haven’t been any major updates in the time since. MacFarlane is serving as the program’s producer, along with astrophysicist Steven Soter and writer/producer Ann Druyan (who wrote the big-screen adaptation of Sagan’s Contact in the mid ‘90s). Tyson will serve as the show’s host, following in the footsteps of the late Sagan himself. Hopefully, if the series is a hit, we might get more episodes after the first 13 are aired.
We’re big fans of the late Carl Sagan around here. As a writer with a lifelong love of science, I can admire Sagan twofold, both for his scientific zeal and passion to teach, and for his poet’s gift at describing the wonders of the universe. His Cosmos was an important touchstone for many curious young minds back in the 1980s, so what a lovely surprise it is to discover that there was a “lost” episode of Sagan’s iconic series, one that took us to the wondrous and mysterious “meat planet.” Take it away, Carl…