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Cosmos: Standing up in the Milky Way

In this episode of Cosmos, we learn about different aspects of science. The show Cosmos is hosted by famous astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. In the beginning, he elaborates about the planets in the Solar System. The planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The idea of perspective in this episode, continually begins to pan out for a broader perspective in which our world is a small speck, in the gigantic Solar System.

While showing Venus, deGrasse Tyson says “the runaway greenhouse effect has turned it into a kind of hell”. Understanding this effect on Venus was one contribution to science. Our solar system’s hottest planet is surprisingly Venus, because of the planet’s astonishingly high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that creates a greenhouse effect that makes the planet’s surface hotter than its neighbor Mercury, which technically the closer to the sun. Jupiter’s red spot, which is shown as a hurricane that is three times the size of the Earth, provides the first comparison by which we can examine our planet’s size. Our Milky Way galaxy, which is the length of 100,000 light-years, constantly rotates, which makes our solar system moves through it at over 450,000 miles per hour.

Since our eyes have limited sight, deGrasse Tyson shows that when we first started to view space in infrared, we found many more stars and planets than we could see before. deGrasse Tyson’s descriptions are even beautiful at times; he describes the rogue planets detected by the infrared sight as “orphans cast away from their mother stars during the chaotic birth of their native star systems.”The bubble theory also plays a major part in this episode. The screen shows our universe as a bubble surrounded by many other bubbles. In the end, there were so many, that each universe was like a droplet of water in a massive, and alive ocean. “Feeling a little small?” asks deGrasse Tyson. “We may just be little guys living on a speck of dust afloat in a staggering immensity.” In conclusion, this episode has taught me much about the solar system and its planets.

I now understand how the planets work with, and without each other. I am glad to see that Neil deGrasse Tyson has lead us into this beautiful world of science. Overall, this first episode of Cosmos was centered around perspectives and how we view the Solar System. In the end, all the evidence seems to fit well within the bounds of scientific understandings. DeGrasse Tyson ends the first episode with the words, “Now, come with me, our journey is just beginning.”

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