Memory Monday: Our Universe Changes (Synopsis)

“Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” -Carl Sagan

34 years ago, Carl Sagan became the first person to present -- in a format accessible to the entire world -- a synthesized story of all the most important scientific points and facts that we had learned about the cosmic story common to us all.

No longer did we live in a Universe the size of our galaxy, dominated by Newtonian gravity, but in a Universe billions of years old, with more than 100 billion galaxies in it, that all started with a bang. But since 1980, we've learned so much more, and some of the best ideas that Carl knew -- about the beginning, middle, and end of the Universe -- have actually been improved upon, and the story as it was told in 1980 has been superseded by a more accurate one.

Image credit: Bock et al. (2006, astro-ph/0604101); modifications by me. Image credit: Bock et al. (2006, astro-ph/0604101); modifications by me.

Come check it out, and catch the talk I gave in honor of what would have been Carl's 80th birthday, here!

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