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In a tour of our solar system, galaxy and beyond, Cornell astronomer Sagan meshes a history of astronomical discovery, a cogent brief for space exploration and an overview of life-from its origins in the oceans to humanity's first emergence to a projected future where humans "terraform" and settle other planets and asteroids, Earth having long been swallowed by the sun. Maintaining that such relocation is inevitable, the author further argues that planetary science is of practical utility, fostering an interdisciplinary approach to looming environmental catastrophes such as "nuclear winter" (lethal cooling of Earth after a nuclear war, a widely accepted prediction first calculated by Sagan in 1982). His exploration of our place in the universe is illustrated with photographs, relief maps and paintings, including high-resolution images made by Voyager 1 and 2, as well as photos taken by the Galileo spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope and satellites orbiting Earth, which show our planet as a pale blue dot. A worthy sequel to Sagan's Cosmos. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sagan's great appeal as a popular-science writer, beyond his prodigious knowledge, is his optimism and sense of wonder. A visualizer and a visionary, he fires our imagination and turns science into high drama. After writing about our origins in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1992), Sagan turns his attention to outer space and takes up where Cosmos left off 14 years ago. An astonishing amount of information was amassed during that productive era, and Sagan, of course, is up on all of it. A passionate and eloquent advocate of space exploration, he believes that the urge to wander, and the need for a frontier, is intrinsic to our nature, and that this trait is linked to our survival as a species. Throughout this beautifully illustrated, revelatory, and compelling volume, Sagan returns again and again to our need for journeys and quests as well as our unending curiosity about our place in the universe. Such philosophical musings are interwoven with precise and enthusiastic accounts of the triumphs of interplanetary exploration, from the Apollo moon landings to the spectacular findings of robotic missions, especially the Voyager spacecraft. Sagan describes one exciting discovery after another regarding the four giants--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--and their many moons, mysterious and exquisite rings, and volatile atmospheres. He argues, convincingly, that planetary exploration is of immense value. It not only teaches us about our celestial neighbors, but helps us understand and protect Earth. Yes, we have seemingly insurmountable problems on this pale blue dot, but we have always reached for the stars, and we mustn't stop now. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Carl Sagan at his best. Every single living person should read this bookPublished 8 months ago by thomas leboeuf
Very good book, nice writing. I'd recommend this book for every space science amateur. It really opens the mind. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Simon Deschenes
Make no mistake, just as Sagan reveals his opinion that Apollo 11 was about politics, not science, I tell you that Pale Blue Dot is about politics, not science. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003 by Tracy Fitzgerald
Pale Blue Dot is probably one of the best introductions to astronomy available to the public. In this book Dr. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by Mr Tough Guy
I noticed a few negative reviews that seemed to be more about religion than this book, so I wanted to make one brief comment. Read morePublished on July 17 2003 by magellan
A must read. This somewhat overlooked book is one of Sagans best. The descriptions of findings from the voyager missions, such as data on Neptune and its moons, are hypnotizing. Read morePublished on May 22 2003
This was the first Sagan-book I read and I was 14 at that time. I can't say I really understood it then, but it simply CHANGED my life. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2001
Re: "The first couple chapters are filled with the usual Sagan illogical naturalism. I never understood how he could hold to such a [sic] irrational philosphy [sic] and yet... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2001