It started with a blind date.

Theoretical astrophysicist Kip Thorne was a divorced, single dad raising a teenage daughter when he got a call in September 1980 from a close friend — who happened to be fellow scientist Carl Sagan.

Would Thorne be interested in going out with a woman he knew?

Though the shy Caltech professor was far more comfortable contemplating black holes and other imponderables than he was navigating the world of dating, he said yes.

Thorne took his date, Lynda Obst, then a science editor at the New York Times Magazine, to the world premiere of Sagan's TV series "Cosmos" at the Griffith Observatory. True to science-nerd form, Thorne wore a not very flattering tuxedo — he remembers it being baby blue, though Obst insists it was maroon.

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