The 13-hour Cosmos mini-series originally aired on Public Broadcasting Stations in 1980. Dr. Carl Sagan, as the moderator, is amazing in his ability to explain the "Wonders of the Universe" in terms that anyone can understand and enjoy! If you think that subjects like Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Darwin's Theory of Evolution, the Greenhouse Effect, the Search For Extra-Terrestrial Life, & others are boring or difficult to understand, you must see Carl Sagan's explaination of them in Cosmos! Fantastic special effects! This TV miniseries won an Emmy and a Peabody Award. During its initial airing, 500 million people in 60 countries tuned in to tour the Cosmos with Carl Sagan.
An updated version of Cosmos aired in 2014. See information on that series at the bottom of this page!
The Episode Descriptions:
Part 1: The Shores Of the Cosmos
How large is the Earth compared to the universe as a whole? How long have life and humans existed on Earth compared to the age of the universe? How did humans figure out that the Earth is round and how big it is? This episode contains the "Cosmic Calendar" segment.
Part 2: One Voice In the Cosmic Fugue
How did life begin and evolve? What is DNA and how does it work? Complicated questions made simple to understand in this episode!
Part 3: The Harmony Of the Worlds
Take a tour back in time to explore how pre-scientific mankind viewed the universe and then compare that with how the first scientists saw it. Carl Sagan explains how Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton developed their theories.
Part 4: Heaven and Hell
For generations mankind wondered whether the universe came into existence quickly or over a long period of time. Actually, some of the evolutionary processes of creation occurred in a fraction of a billionth of a second and some others took billions of years!
Part 5: Blues For A Red Planet
A total examination of the planet Mars starting with H.G. Wells fiction and Percival Lowell's sighting of the "canals". Learn how we progressed from fantasy to fact through science. What is the future for Mars? Could it be transformed into an Earth-like planet? Contains actual photos from the Mariner and Viking probes.
Part 6: Travelers' Tales
Examines Voyager II's tour of Jupiter and its moons. Many photos of both and learn how the data we received was processed and transmitted.
Part 7: The Backbone of Night
Many people are upset that we stopped going to the Moon. There was another time on the ancient island of Samos when Science flourished for a while, but then faded away. Carl Sagan explains how science almost took off centuries before its rediscovery in Europe.
Part 8: Travels In Space and Time
What is a "Light Year"? Will we ever be able to tour the universe in spaceships, and if so, how will we do it? Is time travel possible and what would be its effects? Einstein's theory says that as a space ship moves faster, time onboard would slow down and the mass of the ship would become greater. What's that all about? Carl Sagan makes it easy to understand!
Part 9: The Lives Of the Stars
Did you know that stars are born, evolve, and then die? Did you know that nearly all of the atoms in your body were made inside stars? You will after viewing this episode!
Part 10: The Edge Of Forever
You've probably heard of the "Big Bang" theory for the origin of the universe. You know, where everything that exists today came from a point smaller than the head of a pin - possibly from nowhere? How did we arrive at such an unbelievable explanation for the creation of the Cosmos? Will the universe last forever or disappear back into nowhere? Where does intelligence begin? In a fish? In a dog? In a Whale?
Part 11: The Persistence Of Memory
How does a brain work? When does the structure of a brain produce true intelligence? The relationship between brain size and behavior. How are libraries an extension of our brains?
Part 12: Encyclopedia Galactica
Are we alone in the cosmos or are there other technological civilizations out there? How can we search for them? How would we "decode" a message from them? Is there real evidence that we've already been visited? Are UFOs real?
Part 13: Who Speaks For Earth?
In this final episode, Dr. Carl Sagan reviews the previous episodes and how they relate to each other. What has history taught us? How did we get to the level of understanding we're at now? What's the best way to increase our knowledge of the Cosmos in the future? There have been big mistakes made by mankind in the past and as our knowledge increases our mistakes could lead to our destruction. How can we avoid that?
Cosmos Remake on Fox and Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Episode Titles and Airdates
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000+
Action Comedy Drama Fantasy/Horror For Kids
Miniseries Reality Sci-Fi Game Shows Others
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