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[escepticos] Sagan honored with his own solar system


Sagan honored with his own solar system

                     November 9, 1997
                     Web posted at: 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT) 

                     ITHACA, New York (AP) -- In Carl
                     Sagan's solar system, it takes just 21 steps
                     to get from the sun to Mercury, 47 steps to
                     Earth. Pluto is a 10-minute walk away. 

                     At a normal stride, you would be moving
                     about four times the speed of light --
                     relatively speaking -- and you would have
                     to walk half way around the world to reach
                     the nearest star. 

                     In honor of the man who brought the marvels of the heavens to
                     millions who watched his TV series "Cosmos," a scale model of
                     the solar system was unveiled Saturday, the eve of his birthday.
                     The model stretches more than three-quarters of a mile through
                     downtown Ithaca, where the late astronomer and physicist lived
                     and taught at Cornell University. 

                     Six-foot-high stone obelisks stand over a 10-block area to denote
                     the sun and nine planets -- accurately spaced on a scale of one to
                     five billion. 

                     "(Sagan) often conjured models of the cosmos. He often worked
                     to help us come to know how big things are beyond our fragile
                     sphere," said Bill Nye, a former student of Sagan's who hosts the
                     popular children's science series "The Science Guy" on public

                     "He changed us in the way we think," Nye told more than 800
                     people gathered to dedicate the Carl Sagan Planet Walk. 

                     "I know Carl would love this," said Ann Druyan, Sagan's widow
                     and longtime collaborator. "By walking through it, we can bring
                     ourselves to face our true circumstances in the universe, that we
                     are part of the fabric of nature, not the center." 

                     Ithaca artist Erin Caruth designed the monument, drawing
                     inspiration from stone celestial monuments of earlier civilizations
                     such as Stonehenge. 

                     Each obelisk carries color spacecraft images of the planet it
                     represents on porcelain enamel signs, descriptions of the planet's
                     unique features and a model that shows the planet's size compared
                     to the sun. The sun and Pluto are blue-pearl granite; the rest are

                     Sagan, who taught at Cornell for 30 years, died December 20 at
                     age 62 from complications of a bone marrow disease. 

                     He was probably best known for his acclaimed 13-part PBS
                     series "Cosmos," co-written with Druyan, which retraced 15 billion
                     years of cosmic evolution. The series has been seen by more than
                     500 million people in 60 countries. 

                     A NASA adviser, Sagan won the Pulitzer Prize for general
                     nonfiction in 1978 for "The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the
                     Evolution of Human Intelligence." 

                     His 1985 best-selling novel, "Contact," was made into a movie this




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