They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

COSMOS Watch: Episode 1

Sunday 9 March 2014 21:00 EDT Channel 17.1 (FOX HD)
What follows are just notes I made. The series stands on its own merits.

-- There was an opening intro by President Barack Obama, which was clipped. Really FOX?

-- Carl Sagan's voice. "The Universe is everything that ever was and ever will be."

-- Switch to HD and Neil Degrasse Tyson begins. "A generation ago."

-- 1 adventure with many heroes.

-- A recitation of the Scientific Method.

-- Opening credits include Ann Druyan (Mrs. Carl Sagan) and Seth McFarlane (Yes, of Family Guy -- he helped jumpstart this.)

-- The Ship of the Imagination. Carl Sagan used this device -- Neil's has a window in the floor to the past and in the ceiling for the future. Very shiny, looks like the alien ship in Mission To Mars.

-- Putting us in our place. Earth, Sun, Mercury, Venus...

-- Mars has as much land mass as Earth.

-- Jupiter has more mass than all the other planets combined. The Red Spot is three times larger than Earth.

-- Saturn, the crown jewel. Uranus and Neptune, the outer planets, because Neil helped demote Pluto.

-- Beyond are 10s of 1000s of small frozen worlds. Pluto is one.

-- Voyager 1... farthest manmade object out there.

Sponsored by Samsung Galaxy. No-brainer there.

-- Oort Cloud. Leftover bits from formation of solar system. No one has seen it because so diffuse. Bits are about 1B miles apart -- distance between Earth and Saturn.

-- Empty space beyond? In the visible. But in the IR (infrared), a different story.

-- A rogue planet. A world w/o a sun. Molten core, frozen surface.

-- The Milky Way in IR.

-- Our Cosmic Address:
Earth
Solar System
Milky Way Galaxy
Local Group
Virgo Supercluster
Observable Universe

-- Limit: Cosmic Horizon. More than 13.8B LY away, light hasn't had time to get here.

-- We may be just one bubble in a huge multiverse. Worlds without end.

-- Cosmic perspective new since 400 years ago, before no telescopes.

-- One man envisions a grander universe. And on New Year's Eve 1600, he's in prison.

-- 16th century, idea of belonging to something greater than ourselves.

-- Copernicus, Earth not center of Universe.

-- 1st of a series of animations (one friend said Carl Sagan didn't use anime -- another said consider the target audience), of Bruno.

-- Reads a forbidden book: Lucretius, On The Nature Of Things. Argues for a universe unbounded.

-- Bruno assumes God is infinite, so should His creation.

-- For this he is excommunicated, thrown out of Italy, Switzerland, Germany and England.

COSMOS is shown Sundays at 9pm EDT on FOX (and NatGeo) and Mondays at 10pm on NatGeo. So if you missed this, you've got another chance.

-- Recklessly Bruno returns to Italy, taken by The Inquisition (Thought Police). 8 years in confinement. Guilty of questioning the Holy Trinity and Jesus Christ. Burned at stake. (The anime at the end is a bit much.)

-- 10 years later, Galileo has a telescope.

-- Bruno was no scientist, lucky guess. Glimpsed the vastness of space, but not of time, in a vision. Galileo had telescopic observations.

-- 13.8 thousand million years. Too big to comprehend.

-- Resurrects Carl's 13.8BY = 1 Calendar Year.

-- Every month ~ 1BY. Every day ~ 40MY.

-- January 1st, Big Bang. (Neil dons sunglasses.)

-- Evidence includes the amount of helium and background radio waves.

-- January 10th 1st stars ignite. January 13th stars coalesce into 1st small galaxies.

-- Small galaxies merge to form bigger ones. Milky Way in March.

-- Our Sun will arise from the death of other stars.

-- Stellar nurseries. Source of oxygen and other higher elements in the Periodic Table.

-- We are made of star stuff.

-- August, our Sun.

-- Moon formed, 100x brighter because closer.

-- September 21, life begins 3½BY ago.

-- November 9, life was breathing, eating. Microbes invent sex.

-- December 17, explosion of life onto land. December 28, 1st flower blooms.

-- Thick layers of dead vegetation form coal 300MY later. And we're using it all up very quickly.

-- 6:24am December 30th, asteroid. For 100MY dinosaurs ruled. Extreme contingency, chance of nature. No doubt that asteroid was nudged just enough long ago to arrive now.

-- December 31st, 11:59:46pm, all of recorded history in last 14 seconds.

-- We are newcomers to the universe. 9:45pm New Year's Eve, first footprints. Once we stood up, could look up.

-- 40,000 generations of wanderers, hunter-gatherers, all in last hour.

-- 1st paintings 60 seconds to go. Astronomy invented.

-- 10,000YA, revolution in how we lived. Domesticate plants, animals.

-- 14 seconds (6000YA), writing to record more stuff than we could carry.

-- Budha 6 seconds, Jesus 4 seconds, Mohammed 3 seconds to go.

-- Finally the two halves of the Earth discover each other.

-- Carl Sagan predicted methane lakes on Titan. Played a major role in every early planetary probe.

-- 1975 diary. Appointment with a 17 year old Neil Tyson. He spent a snowy day in Ithaca NY to meet Carl at Cornell. Sagan reached out to so many.

OVERALL: Great beginning. Crisp graphics. Mrs. Dr. Phil worries that so much CGI will convince naysayers that this is all lies, as they already believe. Nice homage to Carl Sagan the man and to COSMOS 1.0.

Later I'll tell you about Carl Sagan and Cornell and me.

Dr. Phil
Tags: cosmos
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