Center for Inquiry


35th Anniversary of Voyager

Coming Soon: Carl Sagan Day — November 9
Celebrate with these Event Ideas & Sagan Day Posters

Every November, those of us who love both skepticism and wonder gather together to honor and remember Carl Sagan, astronomy professor, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and the creator of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning PBS television series, COSMOS.

This year we have something extra to celebrate:

the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager mission.

Carl Sagan Day Poster 2012Sagan worked on many of NASA's robotic spacecraft missions, but perhaps his most enduring contribution was to develop and assemble the Voyager Golden Record that was sent out with each of the two Voyager probes in 1977.

Sagan's idea was to design a phonograph record to carry the sounds and images of life and culture on Earth to the depths of space where, hopefully, another advanced spacefaring civilization might find it.

The golden record cover—what has become an iconic image—contains the instructions on how to play the record, plus a pulsar map to show where in the cosmos it came from, i.e., Earth.

Sagan's enthusiasm for space and his visionary approach to science and science education have inspired millions of people in countless ways, and that is why we take time to honor him, remember his work, and revel in the cosmos he helped us understand.

How can you celebrate Carl Sagan Day?

Whether you're an independent skeptics group, an astronomy club, a science department, a researcher, a teacher, a student, or just a really big Sagan fan, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Sagan Day:

  • Host a COSMOS marathon—all 13 episodes are available for free at
  • Check out Sagan's many books at your local library or bookstore using the thorough listings from
  • Enjoy the special collection of articles by or about Sagan, previously published in Skeptical Inquirer magazine.
  • Listen to Sagan's last public address for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP) as replayed on CFI's podcast, Point of Inquiry: "Wonder and Skepticism."
  • Listen to Ann Druyan, writer, producer, and widow of Sagan, discuss life with Carl, his outlook on life, and his famous Gifford Lectures, "The Varieties of Scientific Experience," also on Point of Inquiry.
  • Host your own apple pie baking contest (from scratch, of course).
  • Dress like Carl for a day!
  • Refresh your skeptic skills with a review of Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit.
  • Invite your friends over and try to convince them you have a dragon in your garage.
  • Take in a star show at your local planetarium.
  • Learn everything there is to know about Voyager 1 and 2.
  • Remember how thrilled you were when you saw the first stunning images from Voyager and go revel in these gorgeous NASA Voyager galleries.
  • See where the Voyager probes are now! (Yes, incredibly, they are still working and sending back data from over 15 billion kilometers away.)
  • At the very least, seek out a dark sky, look UP, and reconnect with the grandeur of the cosmos.

Let us know how you're planning to commemorate Carl Sagan Day 2012 and we'll add your event to our Carl Sagan Day Event Calendar to help spread the word.  Please email your event information to

Carl Sagan Day 2012 Commemorative Poster

This year's Carl Sagan Day poster is a tribute to the Voyager Golden Record.  The high-quality design is available online for FREE, so download the PDF and print as many posters as you like.

Carl Sagan Day PostersAdditionally, the responses to last year's poster were so positive we decided to modify it for this year and keep it available to fans and Sagan Day event organizers.  Each of these 11x17 posters has the same basic design, but we made three versions, each featuring a different Sagan quote.

BONUS: Sagan Day poster as event advertisement

Knowing that many of you will be hosting your own Sagan Day events—and knowing that effective promotion can be challenging—we've created a version of each poster with white space near the bottom where you can add information about your local Sagan Day activities.  This makes each poster not only a tribute to Sagan, but a fantastic advertisement for your event, too!

Don't forget to send us your event information so
we can add it to our Carl Sagan Day Even Calendar.
Email details to



Very special thanks to Ann Druyan and Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc., for their gracious permission to use images and content from COSMOS, and for making it possible for so many CFI branches and campus groups to screen COSMOS for this special occasion. Learn more about Cosmos Studios at the Carl Sagan Portal.

COSMOS imagery and logo copyright © 1980 Druyan-Sagan Associates, Inc. formerly known as Carl Sagan Productions, Inc., courtesy Ann Druyan.  For more information about CFI or Carl Sagan Day, please visit or email

Additional images courtesy of NASA.


Voyager Imagery

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