• Cosmos Liveblog Week 1: “Standing Up in the Milky Way”

    Hey everyone! We’re working on ramping up new content for Paleblue.blog, and part of that effort will be live-blogging about episodes from the new series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. I’ll try to give my thoughts and – when I have them – insights to the astrobiology community that has led to some of the discoveries the show discusses.

    9:01 I love the intro, with a very clear nod to Sagan and the original series. Also, the graphics package looks unbelievable. That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to here.

    9:02 There’s definitely a “hipstimatic” feel to a lot of this right now. Again, I think this is about connecting the past to the future. (For those that want to see the original series the show and I are referencing, you can watch episodes on Hulu and Netflix… and probably from your local library.)

    9:03 Who do I write to get permission to use the graphics from the intro credits in a future talk? No, I’m not joking…

    9:04 The “ship of the imagination” is what Sagan used to travel through time and space as well. This is a direct reboot.

    9:05 Hey look – science! It comes with pictures of “Earth 250 million years ago…” and “… 250 million years from now.” Excellent renditions of how plate tectonics has moved the continents around, and continues to do so today.

    9:07 We’re touring the SS now… Were those some nice real images from NASA missions sprinkled in?

    9:08 – The images of Jupiter’s clouds are simply stunning. (I wish I could give y’all a screencap). And yes Saturn’s rings are made of lots and lots and lots and lots of tiny moons.

    9:10 That record on Voyager is real.

    9:13 You can follow @NASA for some of the actual pictures that the eye candy in the show is based on…

    9:13 “The Oort cloud.” Note that it’s a sphere around the system… not just another ring of things on the same plane.

    9:15 Rogue planets: yes, they’re a thing. (We think. Well, we’re pretty pretty darn sure.)

    9:17 @neiltyson now doing the zoom-out to give perspective thing. Always shockingly impressive, isn’t it?

    9:18 @neiltyson with echoes of Sagain again, talking about all of us on the small speck of dust that is Earth. #palebluedot #cosmos

    9:21 When we return from the commercial break, we’ll see one of the best things in #Cosmos: some great science history.

    9:23 One of my brilliant colleagues, Aki Roberge, just posted that she thinks they did an artists’ rendering of something from a paper of hers back in 2006. These folks did their homework…

    9:24 Bruno was a religions, stubborn, and determined man. We’re seeing that here. #cosmos

    9:26 Perhaps the tweet of the night, right here:

    9:27 Glad to see the tradition of the history of science, and the struggle of scientists against fundamentalists being carried on here.

    9:37 hey look! I figured out how to get some images into this post… check it out:

    9:39 More info/imagery on the night-side images of Earth.


    9:43 Insights on Bruno from PaleBlue.blog’er David Grinspoon:

    9:44 “We. Are. Starstuff.” One of the classic quotes from the original series.

    9:46 “boom goes the planetary dynamite.” … and that’s the story of how the Moon formed. #cosmos

    9:47 When Sagan did the original #cosmos some scientists thought we would have figured out the Origin of Life by now. It’s still a deep mystery.

    9:48 By the way, there’s some great video of the original series here, autotuned. ITS AUTOTUNED GUYS. http://symphonyofscience.com/

    9:52 By the way, (Twice in a row? Really, Shawn?) these ads you see from government contractors aren’t just fluff. A LOT of the work @NASA does is with these private partners.

    9:56 It’s Sagan! I don’t think his effect on a whole generation of scientists can be understated #cosmos

    9:59 That personal story from @neiltyson on #CarlSagan is how a generation of planetary scientists/astronomers feel, though we never met him.

    10:00 Whew! That was the quickest hour I’ve had in a while. Fantastic job by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Seth McFarlane, and the crew. And a thank you to the generations of scientists, engineers, and philosophers that have made this all possible. Carl Sagan, first and foremost amongst them… for tonight.

    10:01 Lots of people out there are concerned this didn’t go deep enough and went to fast. Relax. This was essentially “the preview episode.” They went over everything today…. very quickly. Hopefully they’ll go back and dive into this stuff in more detail going forward.

    10:02 I’ll leave you all with a tweet from Neil:

    10:08 See you all next week! Looks like the topic will be evolution. Should be fun. 🙂