Thursday, December 21, 2006

Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon

Well, better late than never.

On December 20, 2006, bloggers all over the world celebrated Carl Sagan Blog-a-thon, in remembrance of the 10th death anniversary of arguably the most popular popular-science author-cum-astronomer Carl Sagan.

It’s been 10 years since he left us, but the Voyager series of spacecrafts that he helped design have traveled the farthest distance any man-made object has. Voyager carried with it a message, a greeting, to life, if any, outside our solar system.
Both Voyager spacecrafts carry a greeting to any form of life, should that be encountered. The message is carried by a phonograph record - -a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.
Voyager 1, according to the Wikipedia entry, is now in heliosheath and will cross heliopath in 2015. Just reading about all this gives me goose-bumps!

For most of us in India, science was a drab thing better forgotten. We remember science as a subject filled with complex formulae and dull theories. Even subjects that were interesting by nature were made to look complex and intricate so as to leave us confused. And we all mugged up the subject simply coz we had to compete and that bunch of girls over there excelled three times over at that specific activity.

In short, the science that we ‘studied’ lacked romance.

And that’s exactly where Carl comes in. He makes the subject – everything from astronomy to physics to chemistry to molecular biology – so very interesting that you almost want to rewind some of your life and go back to the childhood days to see, with childhood innocence and ignorance and with the ‘why’ question tingling in your lips, what a wonder science is.

Here’s a High-five to one of the best specimens of the extremely-fickle yet smartest-ever species that walked through this ‘Pale Blue Dot’, as he would describe Mother Earth.

My previous post: Remembering Carl Sagan.

Update: The Celebrating Sagan blog has picked up my posts on Sagan. Ignore the mistakes in my English in that post... was typing when it was past 01.00 hrs. Feeling like a special Sagan fan now. :-)

Other Links that might be of interest:
NASA photo journal
Nick Sagan (Son of Carl) blog

1 Comments:

At Friday, December 22, 2006 1:36:00 PM, Blogger Bharat Jhurani said...

hail carl sagan!!

 

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