On Sunday March 9, 2014, Fox, National Geographic and 9 other networks premiered the 13-part documentary series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” with host, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Produced by Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan, the series is an updated version of Carl Sagan’s landmark series, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” that ran on PBS in 1980. The series will explore how we discovered the laws of nature and how we found our location within space and time, which could make for a good research paper topic.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a familiar face to television audiences. They have seen his friendly and approachable explanations of science and the universe on various shows and documentaries. “A Spacetime Odyssey” promises to be both educational and entertaining with Tyson at the helm.
In an article for Today.com, “Neil deGrasse Tyson shares a universe of knowledge on ‘Cosmos‘,” Randee Dawn asked Tyson about the series.
“What distinguishes ‘Cosmos’ from every other documentary is yes, we are presenting some actual knowledge,” said Tyson. “But the real takeaway is the role that knowledge plays in who and what we are and what kind of responsibilities we have given that knowledge to tend to our civilization and to the Earth.”
Given that the original “Cosmos” series aired on PBS, it may seem strange that this version will air on the FOX network. Even more surprising is the participation of actor/writer/comedian Seth MacFarlane as executive producer. It was MacFarlane who brought the project to FOX and it is largely due to his influence with the network that the series came to be.
Interview highlights with Neil deGrasse Tyson for Here and Now described MacFarlane’s involvement in the project. The story, “Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’,” also included Tyson’s take on the special effects and reinstalling a sense of wonder with the universe.
Regarding MacFarlane, Tyson said, “He’s just a generally creative guy but not normally associated with science unless you paid attention to each episode of ‘Family Guy,’ where you realize science rears its head in multiple episodes and in multiple ways.”
Learn more about the cosmos
If you’re interested in science, physics and the universe you’ll want to check out the resources at Questia. You’ll find millions of full-text books and articles along with tutorials and tools to help you research and write your term papers.
While you’re there you might want to look into “The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking,” by Dennis Richard Danielson.
According to Danielson, much of what exists in the universe cannot be seen because it does not radiate enough to be detected. “First posited some 60 years ago by astronomer Fritz Zwicky, this so‐called missing matter was believed to reside within clusters of galaxies. Nowadays we prefer to call the missing mass ‘dark matter,’ for it is the light, not the matter, that is missing,” Danielson explained.
The Joy of Science
What if science isn’t your thing? Will you enjoy this series? According to Matthew Gilbert of the BostonGlobe.com, you probably will enjoy it. In his March 6, 2014, article, “Rebooted ‘Cosmos’ has universal appeal,” Gilbert compares this new version to the original, which was written and hosted by Carl Sagan.
“My sense of the new “Cosmos” — whose team includes Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow and a collaborator on the original — is that it deserves credit for maintaining dignity. […] They have created something that arouses wonderment, despite the fact that it’s airing in prime time, in front of mainstream viewers,” Gilbert concluded.
Read about topics such as mathematics, chemistry, physics and astronomy on Questia where you’ll find millions of full-text books and articles.
What’s your favorite topic related to space exploration? Tell us about it in the comments below.