by Alexa Dobson
Good evening, friends. My name is Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and I’d like to thank you for joining me for the thirteenth and final episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Over the past twelve weeks, we’ve traveled through both space and time, exploring the depths of space, our own planet and even our minds.
We know that the observable universe was born nearly fourteen billion years ago in a fiery explosion, and since then, countless stars and planets have coalesced into galaxies and solar systems not too different from our own. In our little corner of the universe, life has grown and flourished for thousands of millions of years, yet only recently did we begin to look skyward and wonder about our origins and our future.
In 1969, humans first made it to the moon. Last year, our space probe Voyager 1 left the solar system entirely. In a mere forty-five years, a timespan passing quicker than the blink of an eye on the cosmological scale, we’ve gone from wondering what’s down the street to what’s across the ocean. And as our curiosity continues to grow, so does the range of knowledge just beyond our grasp.
It is my hope that this TV show has helped to spark the imagination of people worldwide, to inspire a new generation of scientists and astronomers, to launch the Earth into a new era of exploration, discovery and innovation. This is more important than ever, for reasons that will soon become clear, because we must look forward to becoming citizens of the cosmos. The future has arrived.
Last year, we observed a massive burst of electromagnetic energy in space, coming from somewhere far outside the solar system. This signal was no accident. We received communications from an exoplanet approximately 1,200 light-years away from us. An intelligent race of alien life reached out to us, at the same time that Charlemagne ruled the Holy Roman Empire. It’s not yet clear what they wanted to tell us. What we do know is that we are not alone in the cosmos, and that the time has come for us to step onto the stage of the universe and meet our neighbors.