Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Cosmos

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A few hours ago the first episode of the thirteen part series “Cosmos” aired on Fox and National Geographic. The premiere is billed as the largest launch of any television series, airing in 171 countries. What many people don’t know is that the series is a remake of the original which came out in 1980; it was hosted by Carl Sagan. The 1980 series was a humongous hit and boosted the astronomer Carl Sagan to celebrity status. It gave people a glimpse into the unknown and provided perspective on the universe and how the known world came to be. Fast-forward 34 years and Neil deGrasse Tyson, a world famous astronomer and physicist, will host the revamped Cosmos series. Coincidentally, Neil deGrasse Tyson was supposed to be the commencement speaker at last year’s graduation at Lehigh, but was later replaced by Bill Nye. With the vast improvement in special effects and CGI, I’m excited to watch Cosmos and take a step back to look at the universe and beyond.

The show is going to cover a plethora of topics and concepts that have a profound impact on our everyday life. In essence, a ‘spaceship’ acts as the character in the production and visits all parts of the universe at different points in its existence as Tyson explains what we are seeing and provides explanation to why things happen the way they do. Obviously, much of what is explored is still theoretical and unknown, so it’s interesting to learn about all the new ideas and see what’s on the cutting edge of research. Tyson explores the solar system, big bang, and the evolution of humans among a many other topics. One of the most interesting facts explained on the show is the age of the universe. If the entire ‘life’ of the universe was condensed into one year, with the big bang occurring in the first second of January 1st and present day being the last second of Dec 31st, human existence would only appear in the last week of the year. That is truly astounding and perplexing to think about, human evolution covers only a fraction of the existence of the universe. It’s almost impossible to fathom the amount of time that elapsed between the big bang and presence of humans. I’m definitely looking forward to watching the show and learning about the past, present and future. I attached some links and the trailer for the series, check them out!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140309-neil-tyson-cosmos-question-space-sagan/

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/cosmos-resumes-exploring-universe-article-1.1711769

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/03/cosmos-review-neil-degrasse-tyson-brings-brilliant-science-questionable-history-to-the-world.html

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Author: Ben Dunmire

I am a sophomore Chemical Engineering major at Lehigh. On campus, I am the president of Club Baseball and a member of AIChE and NSCS. Outside of school, I enjoy the outdoors, fishing, and any type of athletic activity. You can reach me at bcd216@lehigh.edu.

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