Are you watching Cosmos?

I keep meaning to write about the importance of Cosmos now airing on FOX and on National Geographic, but I haven’t. Nevertheless, you should be watching this show. It’s more important now when more US citizens believe in angels than believe in global warming than it was when Carl Sagan originally created the show in 1980.

Here’s a quote from last night’s episode, the fourth in the series so far. A quick science primer for those of you who napped through physics in high school: a light-year is a measure of distance equal to how far light can travel in one year. If something is 6500 light-years away, that means the light from that object has taken 6500 years to reach our eyes. So…

“The Crab Nebula is about 6500 light years from Earth. According to some beliefs, that’s the age of the whole Universe, but if the Universe were only 6500 years old, how could we see the light of anything more distant than the Crab Nebula? We couldn’t. There wouldn’t have been enough time for the light to get to Earth from anywhere farther away than 6500 light-years in any direction. That’s just enough time for light to travel a tiny portion of our Milky Way Galaxy. To believe in a universe as young as six or seven thousand years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy, not to mention the light from all the hundred billion other galaxies in the observable universe.”

Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey airs Sunday nights on FOX and reruns later on the National Geographic Channel. To swipe a tagline from once proud NBC, it is Must See TV.

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3 comments

  1. steve50 6 years ago

    Just saw your tweet, Craig, and I can’t wait to see what you say about what is probably the most important show on television at the moment.

    TV is great for fun fiction, especially long format, but it has been awhile since a non-fiction series has been presented that is so accessible – and well-timed – as Cosmos.

    Looking forward to the discussion.

  2. Antoinette 6 years ago

    Yes, I’ve been watching it later On Demand because the only shows I’m trying to watch this season all come on Sunday night.

    I didn’t watch this last one yet. But I called into local talk radio last week and told everyone to watch it because we keep having problems with the local schools being in danger of state takeover. I think it’s a matter of the whole area re-educating themselves as half of the people here never made it past the 8th grade. I called it “learning by accident”. NDT is a good storyteller and the way they’ve used animation makes it super accessible.

  3. Craig Kennedy 6 years ago

    Everything you all said. There are times I wish he’d go into a little more scientific nitty gritty, he softens it a bit to keep people from tuning out, but this is fundamental stuff.

    Carl Sagan made his show in the face of what he saw as waning interest in science. Tyson is making his in a time when there is open hostility to science.

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