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Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Written by Carl Sagan

Narrated by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan


Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Written by Carl Sagan

Narrated by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

ratings:
4.5/5 (72 ratings)
Length:
13 hours
Released:
May 30, 2017
ISBN:
9781531888091
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.

Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.

ntroductory music from the original score for COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey composed by Alan Silvestri, used with permission from Cosmos Studios, Inc. and Chappers Music. All rights reserved. Special thanks to Fuzzy Planets, Inc.

Released:
May 30, 2017
ISBN:
9781531888091
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and the highest awards of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. His book Cosmos was the bestselling science book ever published in the English language, and his bestselling novel, Contact, was turned into a major motion picture.


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What people think about Pale Blue Dot

4.5
72 ratings / 21 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    In this sequel to the original Cosmos, Carl Sagan again reminds us of the intrinsic human desire to wander, and expands on many of the social and scientific topics discussed in the 1980 television series and accompanying book. Here, Sagan begins with primitive humans migrating across the planet for survival as much as to push the boundaries of a given frontier. From there, Sagan offers a personal anecdote, describing the hardships of his grandparents’ life in Eastern Europe and their fretful immigration to the United States.A full chapter details the conflicts between science and religion in the early Catholic church and argues that the human race gained a measure of humility after reluctantly accepting the fact that we are not at the center of the universe. As he did often in Cosmos, Sagan delves into the history of astronomical advancements including early discoveries of the larger moons around Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus by Galileo, Huygens, Cassini, Kuiper, and Lassell as well as the naming (and renaming) of the first seven planets by the ancients—Earth, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn—and how this inspired the development of the seven-day calendar week.Readers are also treated to rich scientific detail about the planets and 60 plus natural satellites in our solar system based on data from the Viking, Galileo, Cassini-Huygens, Pioneers 10 and 11, and Voyager 1 and 2 probes. Further chapters delve into the atmospheric and surface compositions of the worlds, asteroids, and moons before Sagan goes on to expound three major threats to Earth’s environment—ozone depletion, global warming, and nuclear winter.Sagan’s hopes and visions for the future of manned space exploration through international cooperation are inspiring for all their possibilities, but he is also pragmatic and laments the financial erosion and bureaucratic ossification of the space program over the past three decades and an unfortunate public shift in focus away from planetary exploration. However, in 1994, when Pale Blue Dot was published, it’s difficult to say whether Sagan predicted the dawn of private space agencies—such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and others—that would fill the void left by the government.As always, Carl Sagan makes it clear that by exploring other worlds, we open our minds to possibilities far beyond the scope of our limited knowledge and experience bound up on this insignificant pale blue dot situated on the outer edge of a spiral arm lost among billions of stars and planets in the Milky Way.“We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” – Carl Sagan, Cosmos.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful and mind expanding book. It makes a great case for the space program and human exploration of space, but does not stop there. Entertaining and filled with great science.
  • (3/5)
    In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. In Pale Blue Dot Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond. The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.
  • (3/5)
    Sagan is a genius - a brilliant deep thinker. That's obvious, and this review won't add or detract to that at all.

    Pale Blue Dot had some fabulous insight into the difficulties behind space exploration, particularly on the political and bureaucratic end. However, it frequently goes off topic, where Sagan frequently lectures on the state of the world, our place in the universe, etc etc. Not that this isn't enlightening - just not why I picked up this book.

    A bit jumbled, and takes on too much, but a fascinating read nonetheless.
  • (4/5)
    This book had SO much information packed in a very accessable way. All about our solar system, space exploration, the planets and moons, and all kinds of things. It's so enjoyable to read and will help you understand the amazing place we live. Not earth, folks... the universe.
  • (4/5)
    Even though I don't always agree with some of Carl Sagan's viewpoints, I do like how he makes scientifically inaccessible information accessible.
  • (4/5)
    some fantastic content.. I mean really amazingly good. But also some seriously detailed stuff I tuned out a bit.
  • (5/5)
    If you want to see how science can offer a spiritual perspective, read this book.
  • (5/5)
    A well written and thought-provoking justification to reach for the stars.
  • (5/5)
    T h i s I s a 10 / 10
  • (4/5)
    I loved the book and the first part "read" by Carl Sagan himself. But the rest really grated on my ear.
  • (5/5)
    Carl Sagan. The very first introduction I had to science. Somehow, he managed to get a 7 year old to sit and learn about our universe and our own planet. I learned to follow the evidence, wherever it leads you and to appreciate how insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things. At almost 50 years old now (yikes), each chapter of Pale Blue Dot transports me through time and space. I hope parents and educators still see the extreme value and importance of Carl's message. There. Not a scientific or peer review but I couldn't help but show some love and respect for the man who started my journey to the stars.
  • (5/5)
    I loved listening to Annie but what a tragedy that we couldn’t have more of such beautiful words from the lips of Carl himself. He was such a natural speaker and writer and yet so poetic. I was moved to tears more than once; I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her. Everyone on this dot should read or hear this book.
  • (5/5)
    Once again Carl Sagan reminds us of our many flaws as humans. Arrogance, greed and lack of humility, but at the same time he praises our positive values as well. A desire and thirst to move forward, whether we want to or not. He clearly states that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our neighbors-not only next door- but in the universe as well. We need to police ourselves and come to grips with the possibility of the inevitable. Take ownership of ourselves and our own back yard. We have a lot of ground to cover and in the scheme of things our first step has yet to hit the ground. There will never be another Carl Sagan, sadly. But his ethics have inspired millions. Let us hope that in the decades and centuries to come we can understand that there is no way to move forward out there without first moving forward among ourselves.
  • (4/5)
    Gran libro, paradójicamente, aunque admiro mucho a Carl Sagan, la parte que el mismo narró fue la que mas me costo acostumbrarme a escuchar. Por lo demás todo estuvo muy bien narrado, los ejemplos muy bien ilustrados, y un argumento muy convincente, como en todos los libros de este gran narrador de historias.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    It reminds me Why scientists should not play theologians. Over all the book is good discussion on last great frontier, Space. He talks about the great modern technology and possibilities that we have and the great dangers that come with it. I think he makes a good argument about why the Bible makes a poor science book but his anti religious beliefs does come out.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Good book. The word “human” is always miss pronounced :)
  • (5/5)
    Dated, but this is still the most majestic and relevant book you’re likely to find about humanity’s place in the solar system. I actually 'read' Pale Blue Dot by listening to the audiobook, narrated for the most part by the author himself. Carl Sagan's delivery is justifiably the stuff of legend, with his rich, deliberate and passionate enunciation. Years after his death Sagan remains one of the most poetic and thought provoking of writers. Marvellous, marvellous stuff.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    "A Pale Blue Dot" is not fiction - it is incredible insightful scientific musings and a walk through planets and moons of our solar system - but it feels like fiction. Sagan's writing style is full of amazement, wisdom and poetry, and just like a great fiction book it is hard to put down.When that's said, he spends the first chapters of the book beating on the Church / centrist views in all forms but mostly the Church. I find that somewhat unnecessary - at least to beat that much, but it appears to be his pet peeve, so I put up with it. The fascinating parts of the book start after that. They are about the worlds in our solar system, how planets and moons form, and the vision for human Space exploration. Fantastic. If it was science fiction it would be great science fiction (just add characters), but it is science which just makes it even greater.The book is of course 20 years old, and a lot has been discovered since it was written, but mostly not described as eloquently as Sagan can do it. My husband and I read the book together second time (I read it up for him as goodnight story), and have used Wikipedia on my tablet to update ourselves about the later discoveries after each chapter, so when we finish reading about a planet or moon we go to Wikipedia to get the latest space exploration updates about it before moving on. I can recommend that reading strategy.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Sagen writes in his usual eloquent and impassioned manner, about how we must venture into the vast cosmos, and begin our exploration of other worlds. He presents a well thought out argument for the exploration of space as a means of continuing our civilization well into the future. He convinced me, but I am not hard to convince when it comes to exploration or science. I gave this book a rating of three, because it is not as good as other books he has written.
  • (4/5)
    All though I have the greatest respect for Dr. Carl Sagan, he does tend to let his 'political opinions' leak out. It became very obvious to me that Dr. Sagan has no time for conservatives or Republicans in general.That said, this book is outstanding if one considers the date it was published. Young astronomers and environmentalists will see and learn about our small but precious Earth.The big take away for me was that we 'humans', are not the center of anything but our own imaginations. Our place in the cosmos is so insignificant, that it's not even worth mentioning. And to think we are so smart, is laughable.Thank you Dr. Sagan, and rest well.Jim DeMancheAmateur Astronomer