Five Things I’ve Learned Watching the Reboot of “Cosmos”

by a contributor

from Justin Runge, author of Clamor:

  1. Tardigrades are eight-legged micro-animals that can exist in extreme conditions, such as heavy radiation, boiling heat, and sub-zero temperatures. They are also known as waterbears or moss piglets, and are most likely inside of you right now.
  2. The black gaps in spectra comprise a code revealing the elements in stars, planets, anything. Reading this code is spectroscopy, and it is a foundational discipline of astrophysics.
  3. Isaac Newton was an alchemist and biblical cryptographer.
  4. When Edmond Halley successfully predicted the exact date, time, and location of a comet’s return, he essentially disproved comets as augury.
  5. Our entire galaxy is surrounded by a cloud of icy planetesimals. This cloud is called the Oort cloud, and it is where asteroids are born.