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Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,409 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy. In Sagan's typically lucid and lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system ...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published August 31st 2000 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1973)
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Jo (The Book Geek)
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the third book of Carl Sagan's work's, that I have read recently. Yet again, Mr Sagan has not left me disappointed.
This book consists of a collection of short essays on subjects that can be most complex, but Sagan explains it all, in such a way, so that we can all understand and enjoy it. It tells us about the Solar system, and touches on the topic of extraterrestrial life. Maybe the best thing about reading Sagans books, is I can hear his voice talking when reading. Even though this boo
Dana Stabenow
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
One thing that is so attractive about Sagan is his ability to be humbled in the face of someone else’s intelligence, including a room full of first graders. “A friend asked me to come to talk to his class,” Sagan writes in one essay in The Cosmic Connection, “which, he assured me, knew nothing about astronomy but was eager to learn.” So Sagan goes to his young friend’s class, armed with slides of colorful gaseous nebulas to entertain the kiddies, and then makes the mistake of asking the class ho ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was one of the interesting book of Carl Sagan.I like the way of description of cosmos in this book.When you read this book you will travel the galaxies,stars and sometimes you can go to the deeeeppp.I gave 4stars because some parts were a little bit boring.But generally it was good book🤗
Vikas Lather
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow!!! Happy birthday Carl Sagan. You would have been 79 today.
It's almost like a magical reality to read your book as a tribute, unintentionally and accidentally, on your birthday.

After the discovery of your birth date, I can only imagine by this random co-incidence, an ordinary mind like myself from a different sub-continent, who is not currently engaged in any scientific pursuit, is reading your book purely for entertainment and enlightenment. This is what you have to know, to understand ho
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carl Sagan fans
Recommended to Nərmin by: A friend
Two language review :

I am saying this again: I read non-fiction books too sloooowwww...
Carl Sagan is my favorite astronomer. His writing style is flowing, easy and funny. His optimism and fascination towards the science and cosmos are inspiring.
I loved most of his essays about space explorations and ideas. Some were a bit repetitive and boring, so I skipped those parts. However most of them were enjoyable.

Kitabı uzun müddətə oxumağıma baxmayaraq çox hissəsini bəyəndim. Carl Saganın dili axıcı v
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished another glorious book by Carl Sagan which is fantastic as usual. Here are some highlights :

From the first chapter, “A Transitional Animal”, describing the 5-billion year history of Earth.

"In Man, not only is adaptive information acquired in the lifetime of a single individual, but it is passed on extra-genetically through learning, through books, through education. It is this, more than anything else, that has raised Man to his present pre-eminent status on the planet Earth."

"We are the
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This collection of essays is a justifiable predecessor, in many ways including the chronological order, of Carl Sagan's latter books. The topics that are briefly brushed upon here, have been thoroughly explored in his subsequent works and this piece of text does well to introduce to the reader all those aspects of planetary astronomy and sub-fields of it; namely exploration, terraforming and colonization of planets, communications with extra-terrestrial and terrestrial non-human intelligences, u ...more
Pete daPixie
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stardust
Carl Sagan's collection of short essays on all things cosmic is a very interesting and enjoyable read. The author presents cosmology, physics, biology and nuclear electrickery that can be understood by small children. (Somebody fetch me a small child.) His views of the universe from some thirty years back are still relevant and topical today. Not certain I agree with his ideas on extra terrestrial life forms and our ability to locate same. None the less, Sagan throws in human history, chemistry ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Although outdated, it is an interesting reading, with a lot of funny moments from Sagan's experience.
Diego Pino
Se trata de una compilación de artículos escritos por Carl Sagan, agrupados en tres grandes bloques: Perspectivas Cósmicas, El Sistema Solar y Más allá del Sistema Solar.

Muchos de los capítulos comparten contenidos con algunos de los episodios de la famosa serie Cosmos, como por ejemplo los frecuentes paralelismos entre la exploración espacial y la Era de los Descubrimientos; el esfuerzo por desmontar las supersticiones (mitos, religiones, astrología, new age, etc) y promover el espíritu científ
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
For awhile, I've sided with the late Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki's view of space exploration. In his 1969 speech, he says of the moon landing: "to me it is not so interesting a thing." He's trying, I think, to make his listeners aware of human's insatiable appetite for the next shiny thing, the thing outside ourselves that will make us satisfied. Going inside ourselves, Zen, is the antidote to this material searching. After seeing "Gravity" I thought the same thing: why would anyone want to go to ...more
Menglong Youk
"Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective", the tenth Carl's book I've read so far, is a collection of essays by the one and only Carl Sagan during the 60s and 70s. Most of the chapters later were improved with exquisitely detailed explanations by Carl himself in his next books. His experience working with NASA on space missions, his surprising day with schoolchildren, his perspectives on extraterrestrial and terrestrial intelligence, scientific histories of Mars and Venus, terraformin ...more
Eric Peterson
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Much of the information is now dated but the book is still a compelling, cogent and well thought out argument for a continuing and active human presence in space. The gutting of the manned NASA missions by the Carter administration shortly after this was published and the struggle for both funding and clear cut purpose following the end of the Apollo program make the optimistic tone of the book ring somewhat hollow today, but just imagine what if...
Jan 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
“I have just finished The Cosmic Connection and loved every word of it. You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking. One thing about the book made me nervous. It was entirely too obvious that you are smarter than I am. I hate that.” —Isaac Asimov to Carl Sagan
Fabiano Lourenco
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Written in 1973, only four years after man landed on the Moon, by the great astronomer and science communicator Carl Sagan (1934-1996), this book is a huge demonstration of the impact of the moon experience on the scientific minds of that period. Sagan worked for NASA as an assistant since the 50s. Therefore he was directly involved in the successful Apollo II mission. The new perspectives open to humankind by that remarkable event were fascinating, and Sagan, being particularly fond of such ast ...more
Mitch Romig
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
It seems like this book should be way more out of date than it is. The only things that reveal how old it is are the references to the Soviet Union and, depressingly, the overly optimistic predictions of where we would be by this time.
Ray Nessly
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this back in the 70s, along with Murmurs of Earth. Loved them both. A little later I read Cosmos, probably when the movie came. Don't remember what I thought of that one.
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Life forms developed that were finely tuned to their specific environments exquisitely adapted to the conditions. But the conditions changed. The organisms were too specialized. They died. Other organisms were less well adapted but they were more generalized. The conditions changed, the climate varied, but the organisms were able to continue. Many more species of organisms have died during the history of the Earth than are alive today. The secret of evolution is time and death.”

“Human beings c
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another secondhand book that smells wonderful, bizarre to say but every turn of the page was marked by the scent of sweet age. Small consolation as I wish I read this sooner. Then I would have gathered that the plaque from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft was one of the images seen in David Bowie's last album for the song "Girl Loves Me", it was positioned in the center of the 20 pointed star.

Sigh. Also at the start of the chapter that has the very diagram mentioned, concerning the way constellations c
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
words of wisdom from Carl--

"And then one day there came to be a creature whose genetic material was in no major way different from the self-replicating molecular collectives of any of the other organisms on his planet, which he called Earth. But he was able to ponder the mystery of his origins, the strange and tortuous path by which he had emerged from star-stuff. He was the matter of the cosmos, contemplating itself. He considered the problematical and enigmatic question of his future. He calle
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although nominal pop science, this certainly isn't a primer for the general layman, since it seems to already assume a decent amount of knowledge on the part of the reader. It does provide, however, a very lucid description of the origins of the solar system, the development of life and its progression and wider place in the universe (at least as understood up to the early 1970s when it was written).

Our space probes are discussed, including the Pioneer probes which Sagan himself worked on -- I h
თუ სეიგანის ცნობილი წიგნები, კოსმოსი და მკრთალი ლურჯი წერტილი წაგიკითხავთ, აღმოაჩენთ რომ ამ წიგნში, რომელიც უფრო ადრინდელია (1973) ახალი არაფერია. იმის გათვალისწინებით რომ ეს წიგნი უფრო ადრე დაიწერა ზოგიერთი ნიუანსი მოძველებულიც კია. გვხვდება იგივე თემები: მზის სისტემის პლანეტების კვლევა, რომელიც ჯერ კიდევ ადრეულ ეტაპზეა (მარინერ 9, ვენერა 4 პიონერ 10) სიცოცხლის წარმოშობა. უცხო ცივილიზაციების არსებობა და კონტაქტის დამყარება. ცივილიზაციის ტიპები და პლანეტები საზოგადოების გონებასა აღქმაში. ზუსტად ...more
Shaun Ling
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, space
I knew about the book from the documentary Cosmos: A Space Odyssey (2014) hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson. It was a book given by Carl (the author) to Neil during their meeting as a teenager.

The book talks about the gold plaque aboard the spacecraft Pioneer 10, which was designed by Carl Sagan and his wife. There are interesting reactions from people and is told in the book.

There are some interesting discussion on why alien hasn't visited us (Fermi paradox), the way to search for them, is it wise
Susannah Bell
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Cosmic Connection is directed squarely at the layman. There’s no “heavy” science in it at all and not a formula in sight. The chapters are short, each one an essay. The biggest surprise is how funny Carl Sagan is. In one chapter, he goes to a primary school prepared to entertain rather than teach. When he asks the kids if they could think of any evidence that the earth is round, he is faintly gobsmacked by the intelligence of the answers. I found myself riveted by some of the stories. For ex ...more
Happy Hedgehog
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
In reading this book I am convinced that most of it was over my head. That said, I did grasp the gist of what was being said, and chapters 10 and 11 were very entertaining. At the start of the introduction by Ann Druyan, a quote by Sagan is inserted which, ironically, is from one of his other books; Cosmos. Here is part of it: "If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies you will not find another." The kind of haunting loneliness that emanates from this statement i ...more
Spencer Trinh
the epilogue provides some up-to-date corrections on some of sagan's predictions when he wrote the book which i felt was very important to the acceptance of sagan's theme. i also thought it was interesting to see what 30+ years of studies research and development has done to the face of astrophysics in terms of what we know and what we can deduce. nevertheless, sagan is fluent and articulate in his expertise and really allows the reader to enjoy this difficult to grasp subject. if one has alread ...more
Bryan Jaketic
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was Carl Sagan's first book for the general public, and it makes me wish he was still with us. His sense of awe helps to make reading about science so interesting. This book explores the solar system and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and it touches on the origin of the universe. Although it was written in 1974, making some of the information outdated, much of it is still relevant. This version contains an update at the end, written in 2000 by David Morrison, which makes the book ...more
Debora Cortes
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the Cosmos tv series very much as a child. This was my second try with this book that contains some of the material shown later in the series.

Chapters about the early exploration of Venus and Mars, for example, give a nice flashback and an inside view of a great story. But as he speaks of his achievements and experiences all the time, randomly, we can only imagine that the outlandish perspective of the title is his own. Some of his views are biased (biology is not expected to profit mo
Alena Frolova
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonder book. It amazing read about Cosmos and time when people active explore this area. When Carl Sagan was life, everyone was exciting about Cosmos and Extraterrestrial life. Sometimes I imagine like Sagan will be happy to hear that liquid water was found on the Mars. In that time people study astronomy at schools, but now people forget about it. Only stars in the sky remember us that Earth is not a limit, in there other planets, suns, worlds.
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, culture
Read this book to be reinspired about the universe - its exploration, possibilities, and wonder. I really liked his arguments for why we should explore other planets, especially with his scientific background. This book is more like a series of essays or lectures, it jumps around a bit. It leaves me wanting more on each subject. However one sentence can snap at your perceptions and leave you thinking for days. That's neat.
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in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
More about Carl Sagan...
“Man is a transitional animal. He is not the climax of creation.” 7 likes
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