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This page Class Notes was uploaded by Salma Klocko on Monday November 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SCI 303 at Concordia University Wisconsin taught by Gary Locklair in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see /class/234348/sci-303-concordia-university-wisconsin in Science at Concordia University Wisconsin.
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Date Created: 11/02/15
Cosmos Carl Sagan The shores of the Cosmic ocean The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we oat like a mote of dust in the morning sky We re about to begin ajourney through the Cosmos it s a story about us how the Cosmos has shaped our evolution and our culture and what our fate may be We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads but to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both We will not be afraid to speculate but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths of exquisite interrelationships of the awesome machinery of nature Some part of our being knows this is where we came from the stars we long to return And we can because the Cosmos is also within us we are made of 39star stuff we are a way for the Cosmos to know itself the journey on spaceship dandelion seed No matter where we travel the patterns of nature are the same The same laws of physics apply everywhere throughout the Cosmos But we have just begun to understand these laws the universe is rich in mystery quasars light year measure distance not time clusters of galaxies the local group Milky Way Home galaxy of the human species we humans have evolved to consciousness and some measure of understanding 400 billion suns in Milky Way Within this galaxy are stars worlds and it may be an enormous diversity of living things and intelligent beings and spacefaring civilizations supernova remnants returning star stuff back into space Pulsars keep such perfect time that the first one discovered was thought to be a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence perhaps a navigational beacon for great ships that travel across the light years and between the stars transcribed by Dr Gary Locklair for Science 303 Cosmogony nstead they pulsars are the doleful reminders that nothing lasts forever that stars also die billions of nuclear furnaces converting matter into starlight These stars yellow dwarfs may have planetary systems and on such planets for the first time in our cosmic voyage we encounter rare forms of matter ice and rock air and liquid water these conditions permit an even more precious form of matter to arise life In the Milky Way galaxy there may be many worlds on which matter has grown to consciousness I wonder what are their religion Orion nebula A cloud that veils one of nature s secret places This nebula is a stellar nursery a place where stars are born They condense by gravity from gas and dust until their temperatures become so high that they begin to shine Such clouds mark the births of stars as others bear witness to their deaths Black clouds light years across drift between the stars They re filled with organic molecules the building blocks of life are everywhere they re easily made On how many worlds have such compleX molecules assembled themselves into patterns we would call alive the solar system Mars ancient river valleys There are a hundred billion galaXies and a billion trillion stars why should this modest planet be the only inhabited world To me it seems far more likely that the Cosmos is brimming over with life and intelligence but so far every living thing every conscious being every civilization we know anything about lived there on earth Welcome to planet earth a world positively rippling with life In the cosmic perspective it is for the moment unique The only world in which we know with certainty that the matter of the cosmos has become alive and aware There must be many such worlds scattered through space The long collective enterprise of science has revealed a universe some 15 billion years old The time since the explosive birth of the Cosmos the big bang Cosmic calendar compresses 15 by into 1 year And with the passing of every cosmic minute each minute 30000 years long we began the arduous journey toward understanding where we live and who we are We have a choice we can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us or we can squander our 15 billion year heritage in meaningless selfdestruction knowledge of Cosmos transcribed by Dr Gary Locklair for Science 303 Cosmogony
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