In the final book of his astonishing career, Carl Sagan brilliantly examines the burning questions of our lives, our world, and the universe around us. These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan's thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease. Ever forward-looking and vibrant with the sparkle of his unquenchable curiosity, Billions & Billions is a testament to one of the great scientific minds of our day. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written, it tells of theorigins of life on earth, describes its variety and charaacter, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and teh complex traces ofhumankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told." FINANCIAL TIMES (LONDON) World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits--self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics--are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS is a triumph of popular science. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as "informed worship." Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.
A fascinating book on the joys of discovering how the world works, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Cosmos and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. “Magnificent . . . Delightful . . . A masterpiece. A message of tremendous hope for humanity . . . While ever conscious that human folly can terminate man’s march into the future, Sagan nonetheless paints for us a mind-boggling future: intelligent robots, the discovery of extraterrestrial life and its consequences, and above all the challenge and pursuit of the mystery of the universe.”—Chicago Tribune “Go out and buy this book, because Carl Sagan is not only one of the world’s most respected scientists, he’s a great writer. . . . I can give a book no greater accolade than to say I’m planning on reading it again. And again. And again.”—The Miami Herald “The brilliant astronomer . . . is persuasive, provocative and readable.”—United Press International “Closely reasoned, impeccably researched, gently humorous, utterly devastating.”—The Washington Post
Author: Carl Sagan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-12-20
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and astronomer Carl Sagan imagines the greatest adventure of all—the discovery of an advanced civilization in the depths of space. In December of 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future—and our own.
WHAT ARE THESE GRACEFUL VISITORS TO OUR SKIES? WE NOW KNOW THAT THEY BRING BOTH LIFE AND DEATH AND TEACH US ABOUT OUR ORIGINS. Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them. The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark. Were the fates of the dinosaurs and the origins of humans tied to the wanderings of a comet? Are comets the building blocks from which worlds are formed? Lavishly illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned full-color paintings, Comet is an enthralling adventure, indispensable for anyone who has ever gazed up at the heavens and wondered why. "SIMPLY THE BEST." *The Times of London "FASCINATING, EVOCATIVE, INSPIRING." *The Washington Post "COMET HUMANIZES SCIENCE. A BEAUTIFUL, INTERESTING BOOK." *United Press International "MASTERFUL . . . SCIENCE, POETRY, AND IMAGINATION." *The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
Presents an illustrated guide to the universe and to Earth's relationship to it, moving from theories of creation to humankind's discovery of the cosmos, to general relativity, to space missions, and beyond.
The spread of nuclear weapons to unstable third world countries such as Iraq means that despite the dramatic improvement in US/Soviet relations, we are living in a time of unprecedented danger of nuclear war. In 1990, there are still enough nuclear weapons in the world to devastate every city 25 times over.
A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace “A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. Praise for The Demon-Haunted World “Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World “Compelling.”—USA Today “A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences “Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
“A history of the human brain from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, to the day before yesterday . . . It's a delight.”—The New York Times Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great reading adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends—and their amazing links to recent discoveries. “How can I persuade every intelligent person to read this important and elegant book? . . . He talks about all kinds of things: the why of the pain of human childbirth . . . the reason for sleeping and dreaming . . . chimpanzees taught to communicate in deaf and dumb language . . . the definition of death . . . cloning . . . computers . . . intelligent life on other planets. . . . Fascinating . . . delightful.”—The Boston Globe “In some lost Eden where dragons ruled, the foundations of our intelligence were laid. . . . Carl Sagan takes us on a guided tour of that lost land. . . . Fascinating . . . entertaining . . . masterful.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"FASCINATING . . . MEMORABLE . . . REVEALING . . . PERHAPS THE BEST OF CARL SAGAN'S BOOKS." --The Washington Post Book World (front page review) In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time. Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race. "TAKES READERS FAR BEYOND Cosmos . . . Sagan sees humanity's future in the stars." --Chicago Tribune
Author: Eugene F. Milone
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2014-01-02
The second edition of Solar System Astrophysics: Background Science and the Inner Solar System provides new insights into the burgeoning field of planetary astronomy. As in the first edition, this volume begins with a rigorous treatment of coordinate frames, basic positional astronomy, and the celestial mechanics of two and restricted three body system problems. Perturbations are treated in the same way, with clear step-by-step derivations. Then the Earth's gravitational potential field and the Earth-Moon system are discussed, and the exposition turns to radiation properties with a chapter on the Sun. The exposition of the physical properties of the Moon and the terrestrial planets are greatly expanded, with much new information highlighted on the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. All of the material is presented within a framework of historical importance. This book and its sister volume, Solar System Astrophysics: Background Science and the Inner Solar system, are pedagogically well written, providing clearly illustrated explanations, for example, of such topics as the numerical integration of the Adams-Williamson equation, the equations of state in planetary interiors and atmospheres, Maxwell’s equations as applied to planetary ionospheres and magnetospheres, and the physics and chemistry of the Habitable Zone in planetary systems. Together, the volumes form a comprehensive text for any university course that aims to deal with all aspects of solar and extra-solar planetary systems. They will appeal separately to the intellectually curious who would like to know how just how far our knowledge of the solar system has progressed in recent years.
In 1977, two extraodinary spacecraft called Voyager were launched to the stars. Affixed to each Voyager craft was a gold-coated copped phonograph record as a message to possible extra-terrestrial civilizations that might encounter the spacecraft in some distant space and time. Each record contained 118 photographs of our planet; almost 90 minutes of the world's greatest music; an evolutionary audio essay on "The Sounds of Earth"; and greetings in almost sixty human languages (and one whale language). This book is an account, written by those chiefly responsible for the contents of the Voyager Record, of why they did it, how they selected the repertoire, and precisely what the record contains.
Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2006-04-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Edward O. Wilson -- University Professor at Harvard, winner of two Pulitzer prizes, eloquent champion of biodiversity -- is arguably one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. His career represents both a blueprint and a challenge to those who seek to explore the frontiers of scientific understanding. Yet, until now, little has been told of his life and of the important events that have shaped his thought.In Naturalist, Wilson describes for the first time both his growth as a scientist and the evolution of the science he has helped define. He traces the trajectory of his life -- from a childhood spent exploring the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida to life as a tenured professor at Harvard -- detailing how his youthful fascination with nature blossomed into a lifelong calling. He recounts with drama and wit the adventures of his days as a student at the University of Alabama and his four decades at Harvard University, where he has achieved renown as both teacher and researcher.As the narrative of Wilson's life unfolds, the reader is treated to an inside look at the origin and development of ideas that guide today's biological research. Theories that are now widely accepted in the scientific world were once untested hypotheses emerging from one mans's broad-gauged studies. Throughout Naturalist, we see Wilson's mind and energies constantly striving to help establish many of the central principles of the field of evolutionary biology.The story of Wilson's life provides fascinating insights into the making of a scientist, and a valuable look at some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time.