She began to understand why lovers talk baby talk to one another. There was no other socially acceptable circumstance in which the children inside her were permitted to come out. If the one-year-old, the five-year-old, the twelve-year-old, and the twenty-year-old all find compatible personalities in the beloved, there is a real chance to keep all of these sub-personas happy. Love ends their long loneliness. Perhaps the depth of love can be calibrated by the number of different selves that are actively involved in a given relationship.
—  Carl Sagan in Contact p. 151

“rapport of sun, moon, earth and all the constellations, what are the messages by you from distant stars to us?” — walt whitman 

“two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. both are equally terrifying.” - arthur c. clarke

astrophography by knate myers at the karl g. jansky very large array (vla), a radio astronomy observatory located on the plains of san agustin, fifty miles west of socorro, new mexico. the vla was perhaps made most famous by carl sagan in the original cosmos documentary, and in the movie “contact”, which was based on his novel.


The earliest precise observations of a comet that Halley could find were made in Constantinople by Nicephorus Gregoras, a Byzantine astronomer and monk, in June 1337. Halley hunted down every astronomical observation of a comet recorded in Europe between 1472 and 1698.  And remember, there was no such thing as a search engine or a computer. All Halley had were his books and his mind.

Now here comes the hard part: Halley had to take the observations made for each comet and find the shape of its actual path through space. No one else but Newton had yet attempted to apply his new set of laws to an astronomical question. In an arduous tour de force of mathematical brilliance Halley discovered that comets were bound to the sun in long elliptical orbits. And he was the first to know that the comets seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682 were one and the same. A single comet that returned every 76 years.

- Episode 3: When Knowledge Conquered Fear, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey