Carl Edward Sagan

Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Planetary Scientist


"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan was born on November 9, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York and died December 20, 1996 in Seattle, Washington, he was 62 years old.
In 1951 he graduated Rahway High School, and went on to graduate from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor in Arts in 1954, Bachelor in Science in Physics in 1955, Masters in Science in Physics in 1956, and PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1960.
During the years 1962-1968 he worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA. In 1968 he lectured and did research at Harvard University. He then moved to Cornell University in 1971, in Ithaca, NY, where he was a full professor and directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Dr. Sagan won the Pulitzer Prize for Genera Non Fiction in 1978. The Oersted Medal 1990, which recognized notable contributions in the teaching of Physics.

At the age of five, his mother got him his first public library card, he went by himself, wanting to learn what stars were. He asked for a book about stars and discovered that the stars were suns and really close to us. He said, "It was kind of religious experience; there was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me."

Sagan was popular for the many books he published and co-authored. He was also well known for his hit television series in 1980 Cosmos: a personal voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. Cosmos covered a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of life and per perspective of our place in the universe. The series was first broadcast by PBS, winning and Emmy and Peabody award. It had been broadcast in more than sixty countries and seen by 500 million people. Sagan was associated with the U.S space program and worked with NASA from 1950 onward. One of his tasks was briefing Apollo astronauts before their mission to the moon and contributed to many robotic space missions.
In the 1960's Dr. Sagan investigated radio emissions from Venus and concluded that there was a surface temperature of 900 degree F. As a visiting scientist to NASA's Jet Propultion Laboratory, he contributed to the first Mariner missions to Venus, working on the design and management of the project. Later, Mariner 2, confirmed his conclusions about Venus' surface temperature.


Dr. Sagan's message to Humanity

Dr. Sagan's Blue Dot Video

The Pioneer Plaque, invented by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake. It is 6 by 9 inches, made of gold-anodized aluminum, it was attached to Pioneer 10's, the first spacecraft to pass the asteroid belt and flew past Jupiter, and Pioneer 11's, the first spacecraft to fly past Saturn, antenna support struts. In it there's information about where the human race is located, in the event the spacecrafts were detected by extraterrestrials. It shows our species, the couple, the distance, direction, and time about the spacecraft's origin.

Pioneer plaque
Pioneer plaque

Last updated: The page is active, with recent blog postings, but not exact date of when Carl Sagan's page was updated reviewed date: May 22, 2012 reviewed by: Chelsea Bookout. Accuracy: The information all seemed accurate, the major facts were included while describing Dr. Sagan's life. Readability: The audience for this page could be someone with basic reading skills. A younger student could use this source as a way to gathered information for a bibliography report on Dr. Sagan Ease and Navigation: It was easy to find this page, there are many other links. There's also included a PDF about Dr. Sagan. In this site there are also many other internal links leading to other facts and information about famous scientists.

The Carl Sagan Portal


Author: Druyan and Sagan Associates
Last updated: Copyright 2009
Date Reviewed: May 20,2012
Reviewed by: Chelsea Bookout
Accuracy: The information on this page is very accurate and very detailed. The site is a detailed portal all about Dr. Sagan and his life and achievements. Also a way to view videos, books, and ideas.
Readability and Clarity: This page is more for readers at or above a high school reading level. Some of the information included big words and may need some common knowledge of Astronomy.
Ease and Navigations: The site was the first page that popped up on a search network. There are about ten other internal links. Including Carl Sagan's foundation, his books, videos, ideas, and his cosmos studio.


external image lens18959858_1323550235carl_sagan.jpg
Author: Kevin McCorry. Last Updated: 1990-2012 This site is constantly being updated and people can put their input on his television series.Date Reviewed: May 19,2012 Reviewed by: Chelsea Bookout. Accuracy: This site is known for accurate information and has statistics and basic information on the television show that he produced.Readability and clarity: The audience can be anyone with basic reading skills. This site gives anyone an inside on the television show, how much it produced, when it was released, and how long it played for.Ease of Navigation: The site is very easy to find. Very common to many people interested in movies and television shows. This site is also common in smart phones and apps making it's accessibility easier.=Carl Sagan’s Life and Legacy as Scientist, Teacher, and Skeptic= s2.jpg


Author: David Morrison
Last updated: January/February 2007
Accuracy: The information seems accurate, There is a lot more indepth and helpful information in this page.Really refers to Sagans thesis's and his thinking process in the many scientific questions and observations he had.
Readability and clarity: This page will be a good use to someone with a high vocabulary, but recommend some astronomy background knowledge.
Ease of Navigation: I had to go through a couple of links to find this page, but this page is full of information and has no external links. All the information is clearly written within the pages provided on the website.

Edited by Nynowska Cerna
Spring 2014 LMC