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Standing Up in the Milky Way is the first episode of Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey. It first aired 9 March 2014 on Fox.


Neil deGrasse Tyson reflects on the importance of Carl Sagan's original Cosmos and the goals of this series. He introduces the Ship of the Imagination, the narrative device to explore the universe's past, present, and future. Tyson shows where Earth sits in the scope of the known universe, defining the Earth's "address" within the Virgo Supercluster. He explains how humanity has not always seen the universe in this manner, and describes the hardships and persecution of Renaissance Italian Giordano Bruno in challenging the prevailing geocentric model held by the Catholic Church. To show Bruno's vision of the cosmic order he uses an animated adaptation of the Flammarion engraving, a 19th century illustration that has now become a common meme for the revealing of the mysteries of the Universe.

He continues onto the scope of time, using the concept of the Cosmic Calendar to provide a metaphor for this scale. The narration describes how if the Big Bang occurred on 1 January, all of humankind's recorded history would be compressed into the last few seconds of the last minute of 31 December. Tyson concludes by recounting how Sagan inspired him as a student as well as his other contributions to the scientific community.