Carl Sagan

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Carl Sagan

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Born: November 9, 1934 New York, USA

Died: Dec. 20, 1996 Seattle, United States

Carl Edward Sagan – American astronomer, astrophysicist and outstanding popularizer of science.

Sagan was a pioneer in the field of exobiology and gave impetus to the development of the project to search for extraterrestrial intelligence SETI . He received worldwide fame for his popular science books and the television mini-series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”(English. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage). He is also the author of the novel”Contact”, on the basis of which in 1997 was shot the same film.

Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn (New York), the son of Russian-Jewish origin – Sam Sagan tailor and housewife Rachel Molly Gruber. In 1951, Sagan joined the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1955. In 1956, he became a master in physics, in 1960 – a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics.

In the years 1960-1962 he worked as an assistant in Sagan Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago, the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University.

In the years 1962-1968 Carl Sagan taught astronomy at Harvard University. In 1968 he moved to Cornell University. In 1971, Sagan became a professor of astronomy and space research, as well as the director of the laboratory for the study of the planets.

Scientific achievements

Sagan was one of the first to put forward the hypothesis that Saturn’s moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa may possess oceans (it was assumed that Europe is an ocean under the icy surface) or lakes. He suggested that Europa’s ocean water may be suitable for life. Confirming the existence of under-ice oceans on Europa was indirectly obtained by Galileo.

Sagan also made a significant contribution to the study of the atmosphere of Venus, seasonal changes on Mars and Saturn’s moon Titan. He found that the atmosphere of Venus is very hot and dense. He also observed that global warming is a danger of an artificial, man-made, and drew a parallel between this phenomenon and the natural transformation of Venus in hot, unfit living planet through greenhouse gas emissions. He hypothesized that the seasonal changes on Mars are the result of dust storms, not processes related to vegetation, as previously assumed.

Carl Sagan proposed the idea of ​​the search for extraterrestrial life, he urged the scientific community to search for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life forms using large radio telescopes and sending probes to other planets. He was editor in chief of the journal “Icarus”, dedicated to planetary research for 12 years. He was one of the founders of the “planetary community” and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute SETI.

Sagan was also involved as a researcher in Project A119, US Air Force secret operation, the purpose of which was to nuke the Moon.

The ability to express their ideas Sagan allowed many people to better understand the cosmos. In 1977-1978 he made a Christmas lecture at the Royal Society. Sagan was the author (together with his third wife Ann Druyan) famous 13-part television series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” in which he starred as the narrator.

Sagan died of pneumonia caused by a two-year struggle of the organism with myelodysplasia (a disease of the bone marrow) December 20, 1996, at the Center for Research in Oncology. Fred Hutchinson in Seattle (WA).


1966 – “Planet”, Carl Sagan and Jonathan Norton Leonard, together with editors of the magazine «Life»

1966 – “Intelligent Life in the Universe” (eng. Intelligent Life in the Universe), Carl Sagan and Shklovskii

1973 – “Implementation of communication with extraterrestrial intelligence” (English. Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

1973 – “Mars and the mind of man” (eng. Mars and the Mind of Man), Carl Sagan and others.

1975 – “Other Worlds” (eng. Other Worlds)

1977 – “Sounds of the Earth: the Voyager Interstellar Record” (eng. Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record), Carl Sagan and others.

1985 – “Nuclear Winter: The world after a nuclear war” (eng. The Nuclear Winter: The World After Nuclear War), Carl Sagan and others.

1989 – The Dragons of Eden: reasoning about the evolution of the human brain (Eng. Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence)

1990 – “The Way, which no one thought: Nuclear Winter and the end of the arms race” (eng. A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race), Carl Sagan and Richard Tarko

1993 – “Brain Brock: Arguments about the romances of science” (eng. Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science)

1993 – “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Search who we are” (eng. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are), Carl Sagan and E. Drujan

1997 – “Comet” (eng. Comet), Carl Sagan and E. Drujan

1997 – “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” (eng. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)

1998 – “Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the edge of the Millennium” (eng. Billions and Billions. Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium), Carl Sagan and E. Drujan

2000 – “Space Communications” (eng. The Cosmic Connection), Carl Sagan and Jerome Eydzhel

2006 – Science in search of God (English. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God), lectures, edited by E. Drujan (1985 g of.)

Titles, awards and prizes

* Achievement Award Project Apollo – NASA

* the NASA Medal “For outstanding public service” – 1977

* Award Little Chicken – honorable mention in 1991, the National Center for concern for the dubious achievement award from the organization, which is skeptical about the environmental assessment and the impact of human activities on it.

* The recognition of public works – NASA.

* Emmy – Outstanding Individual Achievement – 1981 – for the TV series “Cosmos»

* Emmy – Outstanding Informative Series – 1981 – for the TV series “Cosmos»

* Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement – NASA

* Helen Caldicot Prize for leadership qualities – the women’s movement for nuclear disarmament

* Homer Award – 1997 – for “Contact»

* Hugo Award – 1998 – for “Contact»

* Hugo Award – 1981 – for “Space»

* Hugo Award – 1997 – for “a world full of demons»

* Humanist of the Year – 1981 – assigned by the American Humanist Association

* The award for Sanity – 1987 – Committee on the scientific approach to the paranormal

* Isaac Asimov Award – 1994 – Committee on the scientific approach to the paranormal

* The award of the John F. Kennedy Astronautics – American Astronomical Society

* John Campbell Memorial Award – 1974 – “Space Communications” (eng. The Cosmic Connection)

* The award-Klyumpke Roberts Astronomical Society of the Pacific – 1974

* Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Medal – Federation Space USSR

Carl SaganCarl Sagan
Carl SaganCarl Sagan
Carl SaganCarl Sagan

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