I discovered the joys of Carl Sagan later in life than I wish I had, a few years back when I purchased the Cosmos DVD set. By that point I had long since abandoned the more mystical or superstitious explanations mankind has invented to explain his peculiar place in this peculiar universe. I didn't really jump directly into scientific explanations and evidence; I suppose I didn't really give it much thought at all.
Sagan, however, through a twenty-some-year-old TV miniseries, managed to reawaken my sense of wonder, drawing me into the world of cosmology and physics with the clarity of his explanations and his remarkable enthusiasm for the subject. Watching episode after episode, I experienced the same sense of awe and wonder I had as a child in church, with all the incense and Russian words (this was a Byzantine Catholic church, which is like a regular Catholic church without all the guilt and Latin). For Sagan, the universe was its own cathedral.
That sense of mystery, the awakening of curiosity, these are the legacies of Carl Sagan, who passed away ten years ago today. His work has touched people of all ages, all over the world, and many of them are celebrating him today. Here are a few links if you'd like to learn a little more about one of my favorite humans of all time:
Cosmos DVD set (Amazon)