Sunday, March 16, 2014

Across The Universe

Here are a few excerpted "cosmic" numbers from Michael West, Director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory (which segues into a reminder for those of us in the U.S. to watch Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos" tonight at 9 p.m. EDT - check local listings):
8.5 million: The number of people who watched the premiere Sunday of “Cosmos: A Space­time Odyssey” on Fox and affiliated networks. 
13.3 million: The number of people who watched the premiere of “Resurrection,” ABC’s new drama about loved ones mysteriously returning from the dead, which aired at the same time.  
17.9 million: The number of people who watched CBS’s sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” last week. [snip]  
100 billion: The estimated number of human beings who have ever lived on Earth. 
400 billion: The estimated number of stars in our Milky Way galaxy. 
38 percent: The share of atoms in the human body that are heavier than hydrogen and hence were made inside stars. [snip] 
3.5 percent: The amount of funding for NASA compared with that of the U.S. military in President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget. 
7.3 billion: Dollar amount in the president’s proposed 2015 budget for the National Science Foundation, which funds research in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics and other sciences. 
12.9 billion: The cost in dollars of the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, christened in November. 
26 percent: The share of American adults who think that the sun revolves around the Earth, according to a February study by the National Science Foundation.
We're very small in all of this, and our ignorance only makes us smaller.

No comments: