8 Interesting Facts about Carl Sagan

Iris | 08 - 29 - 2023
8 Interesting Facts about Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan was one of the influential voices in astronomy, an excellent communicator, and a beloved scientific visionary. Which book did Carl Sagan win the Pulitzer Prize? He won a Pulitzer Prize for Dragons of Eden in 1975. Are you eager to know more about him?

Unknown Facts about Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan was born on 9 November 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. He was a giant among his peers. Here are some top fascinating facts about Carl Sagan you must know. 

1. An Early Fighter of Climate Science

Carl Sagan did a Ph.D. thesis related to the climate of Venus in 1960. He compared the Earth with the greenhouse effects of Venus’s atmosphere. Also, he wrote in Cosmos,The surface environment of Venus is a warning: something disastrous can happen to a planet rather like our own.”

What is the title of the book for which Carl Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize?
  • A. Astrology for the Soul
  • B. Cosmos and Psyche
  • C. Astrology for All
  • D. Dragons of Eden

2. Sagan Supported the Legalization of Marijuana

Sagan Supported the Legalization of Marijuana

He wrote an essay for Time Magazine in 1969 explaining the positive effects of marijuana. Carl Sagan explained that marijuana made art, music, sex, and food better. 

3. Harvard Rejected Sagan’s Tenure 

He served five years at Harvard as an assistant professor in the Astronomy department. But, University denied Sagan’s application for tenure because one mentor mocked his work as useless. Later, he took a job at the University of Cornell where he worked until his death. 

4. Hosted the Most-watched Public Television Show 

He anchored a hit show Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, the 13 part-series aired in 1980 on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). This show is the perfect blend of simplicity and science. He explained the complex principles throughout this show in a simple way. Around ten years, it was the most-watched show in the US before The Civil War

5. He Wrote 20 Drafts of His Book, Pale Blue Dot

He Wrote 20 Drafts of His Book, Pale Blue Dot

His 20 drafts of Pale Blue Dot exist in the Library of Congress. Each draft consists of annotations, handwritten notes, and revisions by the author. Besides, he dictated all his writing to an audio recorder. 

6. Famous for a Phrase He Never Said 

The audience knows that Carl Sagan said ‘billions’ during the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Still, he never voiced the catchphrase ‘billions and billions.’ Johnny Carson used the phrase ‘billions and billions’ in The Tonight Show, but it was later associated with Carl Sagan. 

7. A Unit of Measurement Named after Him 

Sagan’s deathless phrase ‘billions of billions’ later changed into a unit of measurement. Sagan unit is a measurement equal to at least four billion. 

8. Tutored Neil Degrasse Tyson

He Wrote 20 Drafts of His Book, Pale Blue Dot

Tyson received valuable lessons from Carl Sagan as a high school senior. Sagan’s influence remained strong in Tyson to pave the way for hosting the Cosmos series in 2014. 

Carl Sagan is known for his signature turtlenecks, cameo appearance on Star Trek, crafting a universal message to Aliens, and suing Apple. We hope you found the facts about Carl Sagan interesting. Have we missed anything? Do share it with us.

Related Quiz Test Your Knowledge
Read Next