Carl Sagan

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An image provided by NASA shows an artist’s conception of the surface of Venus. Hot enough to melt metal and with clouds full of acid, any life that could survive in the atmosphere of Venus would have to be capable of enduring extremes. Photograph: Rick Guidice/NASA via The New York Times

The great US astronomer Carl Sagan described Venus as the planet in our solar system most like hell. But he also suggested some 50 years ago that it m(...)

‘It’s very difficult to process all this change all the time without a way of marking it, or taking a moment to reflect on it,’ says Sasha Sagan.

If you could start with a clean slate today what public holidays would you create? New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar but w(...)

Detail from Event Horizon (silk scarf) by artist Niall  Sweeney

“What would you call them?” artist Niall Sweeney says early in our conversation. The question is rhetorical, but borne of an inability to describe the(...)

An unusual astronomical sundial related clock. Winston Churchills face. Bracken House, 1959, London

Reports suggest committed belief in pseudo-scientific bottom-water of the brownest hue is enjoying yet another revival. The word “committed” is import(...)

Ana Alonso-Serrano: ‘We need to push more for changing the image of a physicist as a man’

Physicist Ana Alonso-Serrano has spent much of her career thinking about what’s inside a black hole, an object which the world only caught a first gli(...)

Professor Brian Cox: “Most scientists who really think about their field need it to be simple so that they can understand it. For me, understanding something is a process of simplifying it.” File photograph: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Phil McIntyre Entertainment

If Professor Brian Cox picks up a rock, it’s time to listen. Not because he’s the threatening type, of course, but because it means he’s employing ite(...)

“The Farthest” by Emer Reynolds: “I was obsessed with space as a child. I spent part of my childhood growing up on a farm in Tipperary with really dark skies overhead. I could see the Milky Way.”

In June 1977, four days after the death of Elvis, the first of two Voyager space probes were launched. More than 40 years later, Voyager 1 and 2 are s(...)

“The Farthest” by Emer Reynolds: “We wanted to speak to a general audience, not just super science geeks like myself.”   “The Farthest” by Emer Reynolds: “We wanted to speak to a general audience, not just super science geeks like myself.”

The late Carl Sagan was a bit of a ham. But he was our ham. He was a ham for humanism and logical thinking. At the end of Emer Reynolds’s splendid new(...)

Ana Maria Pacheco’s  Dark Night of the Soul  at the Galway Arts Festival

Two years ago Australian artist Patricia Piccinini populated the main gallery at the Galway International Arts Festival with oddly loveable creatures (...)

Professor Brian Cox, who says of climate change: “The longer you leave it the more expensive it will be to fix and the more damaging it will be.”

Prof Brian Cox is on the stage in the Olympia and behind him there is a photograph taken by Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars, in which Earth appears as (...)

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