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Contact (Paperback)

Author:  Carl Sagan
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0671004107
ISBN-13: 9780671004101
Sku: 30107825
Publish Date: 7/1/1997
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 6.75H x 4.25L x 1.25T
Pages:  448
For all the tenure of humans on Earth, the night sky had been a companion and an inspiration. The stars were comforting. They seemed to demonstrate that the heavens were created for the benefit and instruction of humans. This pathetic conceit became the conventional wisdom worldwide. No culture was free of it. Some people found in the skies an aperture to the religious sensibility. Many were awestruck and humbled by the glory and scale of the cosmos. Others were stimulated to the most extravagant flights of fancy.
At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancia were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population had abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration.
Ellie would look up at Venus and imagine it was a world something like the Earth populated by plants and animals and civilizations, but each of them different from the kinds we have here. On the outskirts of town, just after sunset, she would examine the night sky and scrutinize that unflickering bright point of light. By comparison with nearby clouds, just above her, still illuminated by the Sun, it seemed a little yellow. She tried to imagine what was going on there. She would stand on tiptoe and stare the planet down. Sometimes, she could almost convince herself that she could really see it; a swirl of yellow fog would suddenly clear, and a vast jeweled city would briefly be revealed. Air cars sped among the crystal spires. Sometimes she would imagine peering into one of those vehicles and glimpsing one of them. Or she would imagine a young one, glancing up at a bright blue point of light in its sky, standing on tiptoe and wondering about the inhabitants of Earth. It was an irresistible notion: a sultry, tropical planet brimming over with intelligent life, and just next door.
In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who -- or what -- is out there?

In "Cosmos," Carl Sagan explained the universe. In "Contact," he predicts its future -- and our own.

A young scientist scorned by her colleagues for her work on the SETI project receives a radio signal from a distant star, which she interprets to be schematics for a space transport. Through her research into intelligent life in the galaxy, she learns that the answers to all of life's most profound questions are layered within each person's consciousness.
Author Bio
Carl Sagan
After studying at the University of Chicago (which he entered at the age of 16) and Berkeley, Sagan taught at Harvard and then Cornell University, where he was a professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He remained at Cornell until his death. Sagan was interested in the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, along with the origins of life on earth and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. At the height of his popularity, Sagan was perhaps the world's most identifiable member of the scientific community through his books and popular TV series "Cosmos". He won a great number of honors in his lifetime, including the Nobel Prize. His book "Contact" was made into a film starring Jodie Foster. Sagan died in 1996, but his legacy remains very much alive, as a number of people who studied with him have continued to conduct research and create technology for exploring the solar system for signs of extraterrestrial life. Additionally, the Planetary Society, which Sagan co-founded, continues to publish a newsletter on space exploration, and many science writers cite Sagan as playing an instrumental role in their interest and success in writing about scientific matters.

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Pocketbook
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0448
Product attributePublisher:   Pocket Books
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