On November 9, 1934, Carl Sagan, U.S. astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, and astrobiologist was born in New York.
He wrote popular science books and researched the atmosphere of Venus, seasonal changes on Mars, surface conditions on planets, and created popular interest in the universe with his television series’ Cosmos’.
He urged the scientific community to listen with large radio telescopes for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial lifeforms.
Sagan also played a prominent role in the U.S. space program, with his involvement in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions.
Born in New York, Carl was interested in science fiction and soon became fascinated by astronomy.
He had great scientific curiosity, which helped him explore further the secrets of physics, astronomy and astrophysics during studies at the University of Chicago.
Carl was often described as “the scientist who made the Universe clearer to the ordinary person.”
He helped to popularize science through the writing of hundreds of articles and over two dozen books.
He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for his book “The Dragons of Eden.”
His television series “Cosmos” was one of the most watched shows in public television history. It was seen by more than 500 million people in 60 different countries!
Carl taught and conducted research at Harvard University. In 1968, Carl became a professor at Cornell University where he was also the director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies.
In 1980, Carl Sagan (with Louis Friedman and Bruce Murray), Carl founded The Planetary Society, a public membership organization, in 1980 which inspires, informs, and involves the public in the wonders of space exploration.
“Carl was one of the greatest intellects behind the genesis of space exploration generally and specifically the Galileo mission,” said Dr. Torrence Johnson, a Galileo mission team member.
“He was part of the original group that got together to promote the mission to NASA and he served as an interdisciplinary scientists on the mission team from the beginning. He was a great human being who shared with everyone his excitement about the exploration of the Universe.”
Carl Sagan died on December 20, 1996. He was 62.