It launches tonight: famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is reviving Carl Sagan’s popular PBS television series as Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. The new series is airing on Fox and the National Geographic Channel, continuing Sagan’s “epic exploration of our place in the universe,” re-inventing celebrated elements of the legendary original series, including the Cosmic Calendar. Starting with tonight's episode, “Standing Up in the Milky Way,” we are placed in a “ship of the imagination” that rockets through space, with Dr. Tyson as our Captain Kirk replicating the original series.
“We have other stories to tell beyond the ones that went on back then … At the time of the original series, there were no known planets outside of those orbiting the sun. Right now, we’re rising through 1,000 planets happily orbiting stars that are not the sun. So that’s not simply new science. It’s new vistas of thought and imagination,” deGrasse Tyson told Bill Moyers in an interview.
DeGrasse Tyson met Carl Sagan while in high school and applying to colleges. Unbeknownst to Tyson, his application to Cornell was forwarded to Sagan, who was a professor of astronomy at the university. Sagan sent deGrasse Tyson a letter inviting him for a personal tour of Cornell, which he accepted. ”One of my favorite memories is he reaches back, pulled out one of the books that he wrote and signed it to me, and I said to myself, ‘That is awesome. If I ever am in a position of influence the way he is, then I will surely interact with students the way he has interacted with me,’” deGrasse Tyson told Moyers during his recent TV interview.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is co-produced by Ann Druyan, the widow of Carl Sagan and one of the co-producers of the original Cosmos. As with the original series, there will be 13 episodes.
The Daily Galaxy via http://billmoyers.com and Neil deGrasse Tyson Twitter