COSMOS Throwback Thursday: Carl Sagan on Black Holes

Each week, we’re throwing back to Carl Sagan’s original COSMOS by highlighting an exclusive vintage clip of the show. Turns out, one concept both Sagan and COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey host Neil deGrasse Tyson love to explore is space’s ultimate phenomenon: black holes.

On this week’s COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, viewers took a journey on the Ship of the Imagination through space, time and the uncharted territory of black holes. Sagan’s original COSMOS also examined how black holes distort space as we know it, not through eye-popping visuals, but instead by using a simple experiment.

Sagan had a great gift for distilling complicated scientific concepts into simple, accessible thoughts, and his illustration of gravity in space is no exception. Using two white orbs and a grid of cloth, Sagan explains gravity as a pucker of fabric in space that moving objects encounter, showing how space is warped by mass. He postulates that if travelers journeyed through a black hole, they could emerge at another point in space-time – a concept brought to light by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s epic journey beyond the event horizon in last week’s COSMOS.

Do you prefer Carl Sagan’s simple experiment or Tyson’s dramatic adventure? Watch the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.

Don’t miss an all-new COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey this Monday at 9P.


  1. grace
    June 4, 2014, 11:40 pm

    I like the books and te serrie of cosmos by carl Sagan. I am watching the new work performed by Neil deGrasse, I’m happy because someone is following the steps of our great scientist Carl Sagan.( “our” means of all living things and I think that he isan was a part of our universe, who help us to untherstad the universe)