Commander Stephen Hawking takes another journey in his space ship, the SS Hawking, this time to Venus, the Sun and out to the Eagle Nebula...but things don't always go according to the flight plan...
Beginning with the separation of the fuzzy thinking and pious fraud of astrology from the careful observations of astronomy, Sagan follows the development of astronomical observation. Beginning with constellations and ceremonial calendars (such as those of the Anasazi), the story moves to the debate between Earth and Sun-centered models: Ptolemy and the geocentric worldview, Copernicus' theory, the data-gathering of Tycho Brahe, and the achievements of Johannes Kepler (Kepler's laws of planetary motion and the first science-fiction novel).
In the darkest reaches of the Solar System, the dwarf planet Pluto lies in a previously unknown region of space until an underground group of scientists took on the establishment and sent a spacecraft to the most distant world that's ever been explored.
Quantum theory, the best explanation of how atoms and anything smaller behave, is so weird even scientists who have mastered it find it baffling. But bit by bit scientists are finding maybe it's not so weird as comparable behavior is discovered in our every day world. It's just that no one noticed before.
Astronaut Mike Massimino explores the incredible new alien planets being found daily by astronomers; using the latest science, he investigates everything from worlds that appear to eat light to planets that resemble Earth in shocking ways.