Carl Sagan was an astronomer and astrophysicist, an educator and a dedicated lover of life and learning. He died just before Christmas 1992, when he was only 62 years old … far too young for anyone who so tenaciously embraced life, who thrived as teacher and learner, who so relished the bounteous gifts of Creation — and made wonderment so appealing.
His wife, Ann Druyan, tells us that Dr. Sagan wanted us to see ourselves as “starstuff,” as made of atoms forged in the fiery hearts of distant stars. And, to be clear, his words were not merely poetic imagery. We humans are, indeed, made up of the chemistry of the cosmos, of elements which comprise the incredibly complex and ultimately unfathomable reality of the Universe, our home.
Sagan described humanity, poetically and factually, as “…starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of 10 billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose.”