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StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Conundrums with Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Conundrums with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    41:55

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering your fan-submitted questions on everything from discovering extraterrestrial life to traveling through dimensions. Anything that you’ve cosmically wondered about, we are ready to answer.

    To start, Neil and Chuck ponder where they would pilot the USS Enterprise if they were sitting in the Captain’s chair. You’ll learn why Neil would take a tour of his own “backyard” before setting off anywhere else. We investigate how time works as you move closer and further from the edge of the universe. Neil tells us how to kill a black hole, and the answer may surprise you.

    We discuss dark matter. You’ll hear why dark matter should really be called dark gravity. You’ll explore how we study dark matter even though it doesn’t interact electromagnetically. Then, we investigate the Higgs boson, the Higgs field, and the Large Hadron Collider. Neil shares a helpful metaphor to understand the Higgs boson that involves a Hollywood party, Chuck, and Beyoncé.

    Neil and Chuck debate which is more likely to happen – extraterrestrial contact or the ability to travel through the dimensions. You’ll learn more about higher dimensions and how they interact with the reality of other dimensions. We investigate the possibility of complex organisms existing in the liquid masses of our solar system, like on Enceladus or Europa. Neil gives us a lesson in thermodynamics in order to explain how life survives.

    Lastly, you’ll explore Low Earth orbit. Discover why people who live along the equator would weigh less than people living elsewhere. All that, plus, Neil explains how fast the Earth would have to be rotating for you to float.

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    Originally aired May 4, 2020

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Cauldron, with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice

    45:55

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are back together to answer a cosmic cauldron of Cosmic Queries. From dark matter, to 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the size of the universe, we are answering as many fan-submitted questions as we can.

    To start, we investigate whether there’s any hypotheses that connect dark matter and black holes. We dive into science fiction as Neil and Chuck discuss their favorite depictions of aliens in film and television. We explore the lack of aliens in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Contact, why Neil’s favorite movie alien is The Blob, and why Chuck loves Alien. And, Neil and Chuck debate what space-themed tattoo they would get if they ever got one.

    Discover more about the possibility of a multiverse. We explore the “levels” of a multiverse. Then, we ponder if the universe is finite or infinite. Neil explains why the mash-up of quantum physics and general relativity can create exciting possibilities. You’ll learn about the influence space travel has on age. We also ponder if time travelers are hiding among us. Find out who Neil would want to meet if he could time travel. Then, we dive into the logistics of time travel and “causal loops.”

    You’ll hear about the mechanisms at work that help assist with Earth’s gravity. Then we ask, “Does light ever stop moving?” Neil tells us how we can use high-speed cameras to see light interact with a medium. Lastly, we discuss what technology an advanced alien civilization might have at their will. All that, plus, Neil and Chuck share their thoughts on how you’d be received if you traveled back in time and showed the people of the past your smartphone.

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    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Kitchen Sink Edition

    45:22

    What are your burning questions about the universe? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer Patrons’ flaming-hot questions about the universe covering stars, black holes, gravity, philosophy... everything but the kitchen sink!

    What is Neil’s favorite star? We dive into some of our galaxy's most interesting stars and the mysterious phenomena around them, constellations, and whether the star of Bethlehem was a supernova. You’ll learn about ancient global astronomy through history. Shifting to our own solar system, find out if there is a mysterious ninth planet in our solar system beyond the light of our sun.

    Discover the difference between how gas giants and stars form. We explore more black holes and explain how Hawking radiation works. How could black holes eject particles if nothing can escape the event horizon? Does a black hole have a memory? We talk Einstein, matter, and antimatter.

    Going deeper and deeper, we answer the question: If energy and matter are equivalent, do modern theorists believe that free will exists? We break down subjectivity and the role of science within humanity. You’ll learn about neuroscience and the inception of thoughts in the brain. How does the subconscious mind work? We explore the idea of free will, whether or not we are in a simulation, and a quantum approach to predetermination.

    Could we use stars as an alchemy table to forge elements we want? What other sci-fi concepts do our Patrons have cooked up? You’ll learn why gravity is such a weird force. Is there another paradigm to talk about gravity? Are there other dimensions or dark matter that work to impact gravity? The more we learn the more we know about our own universe. But above all, we thank the programmer of our simulation for free will and yet another episode of StarTalk!


    Thanks to our Patrons Sabrina Anderson, Adam Collins, Jason Pretzlaf, Victor Sanchez, Gino Arizmendi, Austin Douglas, Sara George, douglas robinson, Royal_ish, Anita Petty for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.
    Support us on Patreon:

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan'' & White Swan'' limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver:


    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Grab Bag

    45:09

    Do black holes evaporate? What’s really happening at SpaceX? What is dark gravity? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries covering topics all across the universe.

    To kick things off, Neil and Chuck investigate dark gravity and dark energy. Could dark energy be leftover energy from an evaporated black hole? We explore how black holes eventually disappear. Neil enlightens us about the “five ages of the universe.” We ponder if dark matter or dark energy could predate the universe itself. Neil tells us why galaxies are found where dark matter has collected them.

    You’ll hear why radio waves are the preferred contact method to chat with aliens. We dive into conspiracy theories and why humans are susceptible to believing in them. Discover more about “dark-sky ordinances” and how light pollution impacts telescopes. Neil shares an example of a city and observatory working together to create less light pollution.

    Are the sizes of planets proportional to the distance between planets? We discuss the gravitational influences of planets on each other. We also discuss how many light years you would have to travel in order to see the Roman battles taking place on Earth. If time is a coordinate, why can’t we move back and forth in time? We take a look at predeterminism.

    Lastly, we explore the science of Superman. What would happen if something made the Earth rotate in the opposite direction like in Superman. Neil reminisces on his star-turn in a Superman comic. All that, plus, you’ll learn how Neil found an actual home for Krypton.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    Thanks to our Patrons Jennifer Sell-Knapp, Chris Reynolds, Adam Cook, Taylor Brandt, Carlene Goodbody, Kayla Moon, Daniel Sindi, and David Lankshear for supporting us this week.

    Thumbnail Image Credit: ESA/Hubble_NASA_J Kali

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

    Support us on Patreon:

    Audio Version:

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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  • The Hidden Chemistry of Everything with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kate the Chemist – Cosmic Queries

    50:52

    Is chemistry truly everywhere? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan questions about chemistry with Kate Biberdorf, aka Kate the Chemist. Discover the chemical reactions that make our world work!

    What is fire? We break down combustion reactions and how– scientifically– dragons could breathe fire, if they existed, that is. We discuss Kate the Chemist’s fiction series as well as her new book for adults, It's Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry of Everything ( Dive into the periodic table through the eyes of a chemist and an astrophysicist. Astrochemistry anyone? We discuss where we can find lithium on Earth and why not all the iron is in Earth’s core. Did some iron get distracted?

    Why did many scholars practice alchemy? Was it just in the pure pursuit of science? Learn some fun chemistry experiments you can do at home. What is stoichiometry? What is catalysis? You’ll learn about functional groups and how an element’s state impacts its reactions. Why don’t we power cars using hydrogen?

    Find out about salt ionization and how salt water works. Does cooking food change its chemistry? What is caramelization? Are we on the cusp of discovering a new branch of chemistry? How does an atom work? As a society, have we reached a scientific plateau? We also discuss if there is a chemical solution to combating climate change? All that, plus, what element did astrophysicists discover on the sun before we discovered it on Earth? The answer might surprise you.

    Thanks to our Patrons William Kelly, Patrick Weller, Nicholas DeAngelo, George Brietigam, Adam Leos, David Bryan Smith, and Mick Mowchenko for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.



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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

    00:00 - Introduction
    03:51 - Dr. Kate Biberdorf talks Kate the Chemist
    05:19 - What is Dragon breath made of?
    08:44 - Kate's Periodic Table
    10:07 - Patreon Q&A
    11:37 - Where do we find lithium?
    13:09 - How Earth's elements arrange themselves
    16:54 - How Alchemy relates to Chemistry
    19:57 - Chemistry experiments for kids
    24:06 - What is Stoichiometry?
    25:15 - Why we use Lithium instead of Helium in batteries
    28:55 - What could go wrong in a high school chemistry class?
    31:16 - Can we make a rocket car?
    33:23 - Dr. Biberdorf's Husband
    34:25 - Where you can find Dr. Kate Biberdorf
    35:01 - The science of salt water
    38:28 - Are raw vegetables healthier?
    41:50 - Is there anything left to discovered in chemistry?
    44:31 - Do you know any mad scientists?
    46:23 - Have we reached a scientific plateau?
    47:24 - Can we use chemistry to remove plastic in the ocean?
    49:27 - Which element was discovered on the sun before on Earth?
    50:07 - It's Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Black Holes & Dark Energy with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Part II

    48:02

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we bring you Part II of Cosmic Queries – Black Holes and Dark Energy. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted questions about what we know, and don’t know, about black holes and dark energy.

    You’ll hear why a black hole’s consumption of matter does not overpower the evaporation caused by Hawking radiation. Neil tells us what’s actually “evaporating” during Hawking radiation. He also tells us two remarkable facts about black holes that are sure to blow your mind.

    We discuss how a spy satellite accidently opened a new branch of astrophysics. Find out more about singularities. We investigate the singularity at the beginning of our universe and Neil explains when string theory needs to be brought to the table. Chuck shares how his son coined the word “ringularity.” We assess the possibility of black holes being used as an intergalactic highway system to connect one galaxy to the next.

    Find out more about “white holes.” Discover more about supermassive black holes. We explore the nature of photons: how they can be pulled into black holes if they’re massless and why they travel along the fabric of spacetime. Adventure back in time to Sir Arthur Eddington’s expedition to uncover how light bends around the sun.

    We ponder if dark energy and dark matter are “stuff” permeating from another universe into our own. Discover why light is trapped in our galaxy but gravity isn’t. We discuss the likelihood that intelligent life is more advanced than us. Lastly, Neil shares final thoughts on the delicate evolution of the tree of life.

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    Originally aired March 2, 2020.

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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  • Living in a Simulation with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Nick Bostrom – Cosmic Queries

    55:54

    Are we in a simulation? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice take a deep dive into simulation theory, consciousness, and free will with Oxford theorist Nick Bostrom. Is this The Matrix?

    Why do we even think we may be in a simulation? We get into the reasons why the simulation hypothesis may or may not be true. Are there simulations within simulations? What is an ancestor simulation? We explore different types of simulations and what the purpose may be. Could higher beings be making simulations the same way we make video games and movies for entertainment? Is there any evidence we are in a simulation?

    How would you simulate the human brain and everything it experiences? Would you have to simulate the whole universe? We answer patron questions like: What sort of energy would society need to make a simulation? We break down the Kardashev Scale, superintelligence, and the Death Star. What is panpsychism? We explore what consciousness means and what simulation means for our free will. Could a computer ever be conscious?

    We get theological with it as we ask: If we are in a simulation would we have free will? Or a god? If we are in a simulation, why are the people running it so patient? We explore computation, algorithms, and what sort of technology would be needed. Is a computer inevitable? Could we simulate an exact replica of our universe to be able to predict the future? All that, plus, find out what’s going on in Neil’s Sims games.

    Thanks to our Patrons Joshua Mooneyham, Mike Reno, Eric Ennis, Bill Savage, Kevin Meyer, Lise Rafaelsen, and Andre Lewis for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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    Get Nick Bostrom's book, 'Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies':

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

    00:00 - Introduction
    03:00 - Why we might be living in a simulation
    12:24 - Is there evidence for the simulation argument?
    16:09 - Is Nick Bostrom just high?
    18:43 - Is the universe's complexity part of the simulation?
    23:59 - Patreon Q&A
    24:54 - What is the Kardashev scale?
    27:14 - What stage might the simulators appear on the Kardashev scale?
    29:28 - Where does consciousness fit into a simulation model?
    36:38 - Why must the simulation take place on computers?
    39:35 - Do we have free will? And is there a God in the simulation model?
    43:44 - Is general AI a question of hardware and processing speed?
    47:51 - Why are the simulators so patient?
    50:07 - Could we simulate our universe to predict the future?
    52:22 - Can the human brain come to understand itself?
    54:22 - Closing notes

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Life on Venus, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    47:54

    Is there life on Venus? Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Paul Mecurio, and astrobiologist David Grinspoon investigate the recent discovery of phosphine gas in Venus’s atmosphere and answer your Cosmic Queries.

    We gathered up all your Cosmic Queries about the recent news and we start with the big question: Does this mean there’s life on Venus? Could there be a habitable zone? David tells us why the answer is…maybe. We explore the discovery of the phosphine gas and the possible explanations behind its existence in Venus’s atmosphere.

    You’ll explore what’s next after a discovery like this. Can we bring samples back to Earth? David gives details on the complexity of a mission to the Venusian atmosphere. We also explore Venus’s volcanoes and its geologically-active surface. David explains why, if we want to know what’s going on in the atmosphere, we have to know what’s happening on the surface.

    Then, we take a look at Earth: Can we use Earth to help us deduce what’s happening on Venus? We ponder the best way to search for life in the universe. We also ponder whether life needs water to thrive or if life just needs liquid. David gives us the top three gases that could be used to signify life elsewhere.

    Find out why Venus’s atmosphere is so thick. We discuss Venus’s runaway greenhouse effect and the viscous circle of its carbon cycle. We also wonder if a probe from Earth might have introduced microbes to Venus’s atmosphere. All that, plus, we ask the very important question: Is the Wicked Witch of the West actually from Venus?

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Multiverse Madness with Max Tegmark

    49:00

    Do we live in one of many universes? On this episode of StarTalk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice investigate the theory of the multiverse with physicist and author, Prof. Max Tegmark.

    To start, we dive into the different theories and levels of the multiverse and how they differ from each other. What do people even mean when they say multiverse? Is it just more unidentifiable parts of space or whole parallel universes? You’ll learn about inflation theory and quantum multiverses. We ponder whether there may be an Evil Chuck out there lurking in some other universe?

    Discover the idea behind infinite infinities. What does it mean for one infinity to be bigger than another infinity? We explore Einstein’s theory of general relativity and how it relates to infinity. Can you have infinite infinities within a finite universe? Could parallel universes exist within a multiverse? We investigate our definition of the universe and if there could be more space beyond it.

    How does the multiverse affect our universe? Is there any observational evidence to suggest it actually exists? Does dark energy have anything to do with it? We get into how to test seemingly untestable theories and how exploring these holes in our knowledge gave us quantum mechanics. You’ll also learn how a multiverse would even begin and what might exist between universes. Find out about Hilbert space and decoherence. Would Evil Chuck know about our own Good Chuck? Many more questions answered on another episode of StarTalk!

    Thanks to our Patrons Eric Colombel, David Johnston, Tracy Fox, Jason Sills, Anderson Clark, Andrew Kranz, Kyle Marston, Alex Lopes, Zach Jerrells, and Rob Tadje for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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  • A Cosmic Crisis - Cosmic Queries

    53:28

    How do we know the age of stars? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Paul Mecurio answer fan questions about stars, black hole collisions, the speed of light, and the present crisis in cosmology.

    Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. How does the universe do it? We explore the special theory of relativity, the speed of light, and travelling using wormholes and warp speed. Are there speed limits in the universe? Does the speed of light ever change? During this journey through the universe you also learn about Paul’s journey from lawyer to comedian.

    How do astronomers know the age of distant stars? We confront just how short our lifetimes are compared to stars. How do we figure out the lifecycle of a star when all we have is the equivalent of the snapshot in the star’s life? How would an insect learn about humans if it only lived for a day? What would they think about hospitals or brushing our teeth? Find out about stellar evolution and how theorists and observers combine forces to put together information on the stars.

    In a lightning round, we break down what’s going on with the crisis in cosmology, who Neil thinks is right, and whether this stalemate will usher in some new physics. What happens when two black holes collide? Find out about LIGO, gravitational ripples, and angular momentum. Why send a probe a great distance when we may invent something in the meantime that could beat the original probe? Can anything pull you at the speed of light? How much of earth’s resources could get used to colonize Mars? We discuss in-situ resource utilization, terraforming, and the advantages of colonizing Mars. All that, plus, why Jar Jar Binks is actually a good actor…

    Thanks to our Patrons Eric Ennis, Bill Savage, Matt Schafer, Lawrence McKay, Lowell Irvin, Chris & Michael Johnson, Steve Vera, Nicole Vorisek, Logan Shanks, and Karen Larios for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Proving Einstein Right

    52:27

    Albert Einstein is, well, Albert Einstein. But, was he right? It seems like a silly question, but, in fact, there’s some history behind it. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are investigating what it took to prove Einstein right, with Dr. Jim Gates, theoretical physicist and Professor and Center Director of the Brown University Theoretical Physics Center. Jim is also the co-author of Proving Einstein Right: The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe.

    We start with some history. Jim tells us about Einstein’s discoveries about space and time in 1905. You’ll learn about the “happiest thought” of Einstein’s life. We discuss how he came to his theory of general relativity and theory of special relativity. You’ll also learn why, even though he first started working on the ideas in 1905, it took him over a decade to get them right.

    Find out what it takes to provide evidence for mathematical theories in the real world. We discuss Einstein’s exposure to the real world and how that informed his thought process. Jim explains why being a scientist involves swimming in a sea of information. We ponder if Einstein ever thought his theories were incorrect, and Jim tells us why math is magical.

    Then, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries! Is general relativity incompatible with quantum mechanics? If so, why? Is there a bigger idea that encompasses both ideas? We dive into String theory and how that might play into the equation. We investigate “gravitons” and how their existence would re-shape science.

    Are the strings in String theory made of something? We explore the cosmic microwave background and debate if a cosmic gravitational background could also exist. Lastly, you’ll hear why some stars in the night sky might be duplicated due to the bending of light. All that, plus, we answer the most important question of all – who has a better mustache? Neil deGrasse Tyson or Albert Einstein?

    Thanks to our Patrons Beverly Bellows, Christopher Mank, Darrell R. Scott, Eric Burgess, Pike Persons, AK Llyr, Nicholas Belsten, and Samuel D Fairchild for supporting us this week.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit inuit.com.

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Fan Grab Bag

    52:22

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re celebrating you! The fans! Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice are answering a special batch Cosmic Queries submitted by some of our most supportive fans.

    Before we dive into questions, Neil and Chuck reflect on IQ tests. What happens when the person taking the test is smarter than the person who wrote the test? You’ll learn what it was like for Neil to be a student. Then we dive into the questions. Why are there so many spirals in nature? Neil tells us about his experiences filming Cosmos in a redwood forest and seeing spirals along the trunks of trees. You’ll learn about spiral galaxies and “density waves.”

    Then, we investigate the rise and fall of the Arecibo Observatory. Neil gives us a history lesson on the significance of the telescope and it’s functionality. We discuss the slow demise and eventual shut down of the telescope. You’ll also learn about the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in China that’s currently the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope. Neil also explains why the plight of the Arecibo Observatory is a metaphor for science in America.

    We ponder if machines can ever truly make art. Neil gives us his definition of art and why he thinks the only way for a machine to make art is to be a genuine artificial intelligence. What’s the most fascinating thing we’ve discovered in the known universe? Neil tells us why you can’t beat black holes. You’ll hear how scientists first discovered signatures of a black hole. All that, plus, discover more about the expansion of the universe and if it will end with the annihilation of spacetime.

    In this episode, we’re spotlighting Cosmic Queries submitted by Patron Joel Cherrico. If you would like to have your questions featured in an episode through audio/video interaction with Neil, check out our Custom Queries reward on Patreon.

    Thanks to our Patrons Joel Cherrico, Cory Farnum, Patti Weber, Vegard Gjertsen, Christopher Ludwig, Maria Atienza, Darshan Parmar, Larry Streeter, Kaleb Saleeby, Gregory Newman, and Jeffrey Moore for supporting us this week.

    Support us on Patreon:

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Origins of the Universe with Janna Levin

    48:54

    How did the universe get to be this way? On this episode of StarTalk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice unveil some of the subjects covered in the new StarTalk book named after our recurring segment Cosmic Queries. Theoretical cosmologist and Director of Sciences at Pioneer Works, Janna Levin, helps us break down the building blocks of the universe and how it started.

    To start things off, you’ll learn what the galaxy is made of, both objects we can see and things we cannot. We take a deep, dark dive into dark matter. How much dark matter is there? Are neutrinos a form of dark matter? Has there always been the same amount of matter and dark matter? Could there be a universe with dark matter that is parallel to ours? Find out why someday dark energy will win over the universe. We discuss why theorizing something undetectable and even unprovable may still be a scientific question.

    To kick-off questions from our patrons, we explore the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). What has it enabled us to discover? What has it not discovered yet? Could the LHC make a black hole? You’ll learn about the discovery of the Higgs particle and other elusive objects. We dive into the scientific method physicists use in predicting theories and what physicists really want.

    We also explain string theory and the harmonics of subatomic particles, and how there “can’t be nothing.” Learn why nothing isn’t as empty as you imagine and how spacetime is malleable. Is everything in the universe just a point on a string? Discover all that and more, including how quantum mechanics create spacetime, on another exciting episode!

    Thanks to our Patrons Sunny Day, Shain Dholakiya, Penny Joy, Ben Miller, Eric Lamont, Fernando Sepulveda, Caleb Nolan, Beverly Bellows, Pedro, and Chris Mank for supporting us this week.

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Sharks, with Neil deGrasse Tyson & Jordan Klepper

    53:35

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Jordan Klepper are together again to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about sharks. Since both Neil and Jordan are self-proclaimed non-experts on sharks, they’re joined by shark scientist Jasmin Graham. Jasmin is also a project coordinator at the Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence and a co-founder of Minorities in Shark Science.

    You’ll learn how climate change impacts sharks. Jasmin explains how different species will have to deal with different issues that arise from climate change. Discover more about the size of sharks and why most sharks aren’t the size of the great white sharks you see in popular culture. We investigate the megalodon. Could there still be megalodons roaming the ocean deep? Jasmin helps us poke holes in all megalodon theories. You’ll hear how the evolution of whales helps us understand the extinction of the megalodon.

    Discover more about sharks’ intelligence. Have they reached a plateau? Will they be able to adapt to climate change? We dive into the “science” of the Sharknado film series. Neil reminisces on his star turn in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time.

    You’ll find out what innovations we can originally stemmed from shark research. Jasmin explains how sharks have influenced skin care products and the engineering of underwater vehicles. You’ll also find out what we’re doing for shark conservation. And, Jasmin enlightens us on the similarities between dolphins and sharks, even though they seem wildly different in the public eye.

    Discover more about baby sharks and the absence of parental care. You’ll hear how noise pollution has influenced shark behavior. We also look at how the moon influences shark behavior. Lastly, we explore the phrase, “sharks can smell blood in the water.” All that, plus, Jasmin tells us if Greenland sharks really live to be 500 years old.

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    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • Launching the Inspiration4 with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Mason, & Sian Proctor – Cosmic Queries

    42:20

    What did we learn from the first all civilian mission into orbit? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore SpaceX’s recent launch, the Inspiration4, with biophysicist Dr. Chris Mason and geoscientist and pilot Dr. Sian Proctor.

    Can the human body adapt to space? We discuss how humans respond to spaceflight, the biomes found within a spacecraft, and microbes in space. What happens when we only send the same kid of people up into space? What does a geoscientist think when she looks out the spacecraft window? What does it mean to be classified as civilians? We ask Chris what he is looking for in his tests. What do spaceflight and roller derby have in common?

    What do you pack when you go to space? We break down the perseverance it takes to get to space and what sort of setbacks Sian saw on her way. We answer more questions like, how does zero G affect perfusion ratios in the lungs? Are there consequences? Do people in space really become taller? Is there a way to make this permanent? Discover the hardiness of bacteria in space and concerns about microbes from other planets. Could we contaminate the Earth with some Martian microbe? As space becomes more accessible is there a difference in training?

    What changed about Sian after seeing Earth from space? Find out about Neil’s experience in a centrifuge. What did the Inspiration4 team eat in space? Are there long-term effects of being away from Earth’s magnetic field? How do you operate a Crew Dragon capsule? All that, plus, find out our wishlist for future space stations: What would you want to have in space?

    Thanks to our Patrons Arlindo Anderson, Miranda Toth, Dino Vidić, Nala Andromeda, Erik Varga, JohnMettler, and Aaron Rikede Ahlman for supporting us this week.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – New Year

    46:11

    Happy 2021! On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are looking at the year ahead, reminiscing on the year past, and answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries.

    Before we get into questions, Neil and Chuck chat about the turbulent year that was 2020. We explore other turbulent times in history including 1968 and World War II. Neil tells us why he thinks NASA saved 1968 with Apollo 8. We look back on 2020’s total solar eclipse and The Great Conjunction. Neil explains why humanity’s handling of COVID-19 was a testing ground for an actual alien invasion.

    Then, we dive into some questions! Can a light particle travel through space unhindered? Does it travel forever? You’ll find out why, in our universe, the answer is no, but, in an alternate universe that’s static, the answer is yes. Discover more about the speed of light. What if the speed of light was different? Neil tells us why, if the speed of light was different, everything would change.

    You’ll hear the advantages and disadvantages of living on or near a gas giant. We explore Jupiter’s moons Europa and Io. Could we live on these moons? Could we live on Jupiter or Saturn? All that, plus, take a peak behind-the-scenes when a fan asks Neil how StarTalk originally started and how we ended up where we are today.

    Thanks to our Patrons Cristina Magistrali, Toren Wallengren, Eric Huffman, Z. Reese Downing, Sondra Ballegeer, Chris Ziegenhagel, Matthew H Cooper, Jonathan R. Brown, Yakov Goldberg, and Michael Blevins for supporting us this week.

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  • Dark Matter, Spacetimes Expansion, & String Theory with Neil deGrasse Tyson - Cosmic Queries

    47:06

    What is string theory? What would traveling at the speed of light look like? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Jordan Klepper answer fan questions about solar system formation, dark matter, and the expansion of spacetime.

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  • Telescopes, Liquid Mercury, and The Death of Black Holes - Cosmic Queries

    47:21

    Terraforming mars? How do black holes die? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer questions about the moon, periodic table of elements, light photons, black holes and more!

    Find out about the moon’s libration and orbit. How much of our moon do we actually see? We observe patterns from Neil’s time in front of the camera. What film franchise will he wreak havoc on next? Back to the non-human stars: have modern humans always lived under the same night sky? Will there be a day when we no longer recognize the constellations?

    Why is mercury– the element, not the planet– liquid? Why does one proton make such a big difference? Discover the states of the elements on other worlds and the meaning of a “triple point.” Is it possible to terraform Mars, even though it doesn’t have a magnetic field? We explore geoengineering and how to terraform to protect against solar wind.

    Next, we talk telescopes. How much does the moon disrupt observation time? How do we combat that? We discuss the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble Deep Field, and how astronomers combat interference. How does a light photon experience time? Does it? Can a black hole’s mass get so low it can no longer trap light? What would it look like? How does a black hole die? All that, plus, Chuck tests out new joke material on another Cosmic Queries!

    Thanks to our Patrons John Turnham, Andrew Nelson, Honza Rek, Jason Pretzlaf, Jason Johst, Fernando Gomes, Thibaut van Thorenburg, Ava Spurr, Andrew Kodama, and CNASTY ! for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Timekeeping

    52:45

    What time is it? When did we start keeping time? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are exploring timekeeping with Anthony Aveni, the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies.

    We start with the basics of time. What’s the difference between taking the measure of time vs. using an activity as a measurement of time? If we didn’t have astronomy, how would we measure time? You’ll learn why there are places in the universe that the measurement of time would be pointless.

    Why did the ancients start keeping time? Anthony tells us why it, surprisingly, might have to do with bureaucracy. We investigate how we use atoms to keep the most precise time and what would happen if those atoms change their behavior. If we adjusted the scales of time to make years shorter would that make people happier?

    We ponder if aliens visiting Earth might have a different understanding of time. We discuss the film Arrival and explore non-linear time. You’ll learn why Judeo-Christian teachings needed a linear construct of time. Could we get rid of time zones? Anthony explains how high-speed travel created time zones. All that, plus, you’ll find out if we’ll ever be able to go backwards in time.

    Thanks to our Patrons Douglas Robinson, Michael Kiddy, Oskari Laine, David Frederick, Tim Shearn, Emily Lindy, Vincent Wright, Jason Kawa, Jennifer Alyssa Aiken, and Melinda Ellis for supporting us this week.

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  • Native Skywatchers with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Annette Lee – Cosmic Queries

    49:12

    What does the night’s sky look like for Indigenous peoples? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Negin Farsad take a deep dive into the constellation map of Indigenous skies with professor Annette Lee.

    What do the constellations look like for Indigenous cultures? What is “kapenmi”? We discuss the connection between earth and sky as they echo different teachings. What is “etuaptmumk”? Find out about the skywatching traditions of Ojibwe, Lakota, Aboriginal groups, and Annette’s work with Native Skywatchers. What are current views on light pollution?

    Is it more than just light pollution? We break down our current connection to the skies and navigate modern distractions. Are current generations still looking up? Is our night sky going extinct as we know it? How has Indigenous sky tracking changed over time? How many constellations do we still have? We explore parallels in Indigenous and Western constellations, our connection to the moon, and some stories that connect us to the stars.

    How has science education changed over the last decade? How do you help underrepresented groups to see themselves as STEM professionals? What are our favorite objects in the night sky that can be seen with a naked eye? What’s the farthest object we can see unaided? Plus, discover the ubiquity of the Pleiades across many cultures and what other themes carry through their mythology.

    Thanks to our Patrons Nickalos Early, s0upik, Alex Redner, Dustin Dunston, Dawn Carter, JD Holwick, and Loyd Elmore Jr for supporting us this week.

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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    00:00 - Introductions
    6:28 - What is Native Skywatchers?
    12:35 - Etuaptmumk or Two-Eyed Seeing
    13:40 - Patreon Q&A
    15:19 - How does light-pollution affect people's perceptions of the night sky?
    20:34 - How has the science of 'sky tracking' evolved?
    29:19 - How does the moon being tidally-locked change people's perspective of it?
    34:28 - Which indigenous astronomical discoveries preceded Western ones?
    37:09 - How is science education changing to engage young learners?
    39:50 - Annette's favorite astronomical observation one can make without a telescope
    42:04 - Commonalities between Indigenous origin stories of the universe
    46:29 - How did the Native Americans create Kivas?
    47:48 - Closing notes

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  • Space Volcanoes with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Natalie Starkey – Cosmic Queries

    55:41

    What’s a supervolcano? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Matt Kirshen discover all types of volcanoes in the solar system with cosmochemist and author of Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System, Natalie Starkey. Is there such a thing as an ice volcano?

    What types of volcanoes are present in our solar system? We discuss the volcanic activity on our neighbors, Mars and Venus. How did these planets end up so different from Earth? You’ll learn about probes being sent to Venus, cryovolcanoes, and the Voyager Mission. Are other planets’ moons cooler than ours? Are ice volcanoes actually more common than our own fiery ones?

    What even is a volcano? Find out how different volcanoes in the solar system work. Could there be fish getting spewed into the E Ring of Saturn? Is there life on Enceladus or Io? We break down the difference between magma and lava and what process it goes through to erupt. Should we be worried about supervolcanoes on our own planet? Is the volcanic caldera under Yellowstone really “due”? What determines the size of a volcano? How did Mars’s Olympus Mons get so big? Is there a reason we don’t have an Olympus Mons on Earth?

    Is there plate tectonics on Mars? Does volcanic activity cool the Earth’s interior? How is the Earth still warm? We discuss how the Earth’s molten interior created our magnetic field and how long it will continue to stay warm. Can asteroids generate volcanos? Can a volcano eruption send a rock to space? Could there be a planet made entirely of volcanoes? All that, plus, could we create an artificial volcano or cause an eruption ourselves?

    Thanks to our Patrons ILAN CAPONE, Ricardo Torres, Boiphamet, Sebastien Leroy, Parker, Katharine Hooper, and Alireza Sefat for supporting us this week.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries -- Nobel Prize

    43:57

    Can black holes alter light speed? Is astrophysics the Meryl Streep of the Nobel Prize in Physics? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about black holes and the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with the help of their guest, Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. Janna is also the Director of Sciences at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY and happens to be one of our former StarTalk All-Stars hosts.

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • StarTalk Podcast: New Mysteries of the Universe, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    47:29

    Alien megastructures? Gravitational waves? Explore the latest cosmic conundrums when Neil deGrasse Tyson​ and Eugene Mirman​ answer questions from our fans.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Comet NEOWISE with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    52:49

    If you were lucky enough this past July, you might have caught a glimpse of Comet NEOWISE before it left Earth’s view. If not, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Negin Farsad are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about Comet NEOWISE and more with cosmochemist and author Natalie Starkey, PhD.

    First discovered in March this year, you’ll learn a little background about NEOWISE. Where did it come from? Can we be sure that it came from our solar system? Natalie tells us why speed can be a strong signifier of where a comet is coming from. You’ll learn what it means to be a “long-period” comet. You’ll also learn why comets have elongated orbits instead of circular orbits.

    Next, Neil gives us some history on the Oort Cloud. We take a look at how NEOWISE got its name and the naming process of scientific objects. Neil also shares some interesting information about Halley’s Comet that you might not know.

    Natalie tells us what unanswered question about comets she most wants to see answered. We ponder whether comets and/or asteroids could have delivered the building blocks of life to Earth. Explore amino acids on comets and in space. Would we find amino acids on NEOWISE? Examine the possibilities of Earth having “interstellar water.” And, you’ll also investigate if we can harvest water from comets to solve water crisis and famine here on Earth.

    We discuss how different chemical compositions change the color of comets. You’ll hear why a comet’s “tail” can be a misnomer. Lastly, find out what it means for a comet to be “dead.” All that, plus, Natalie takes us through the scene of two comets colliding with each other and we debate if a probe could hitch a ride on a comet to a world beyond.

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    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

    Comet NEOWISE captured by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. Image Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Black Hole Survival Guide

    50:13

    You’ve fallen into a black hole! Quick, what do you do? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice investigate black holes with Janna Levin, PhD, astrophysicist and author of the new book Black Hole Survival Guide.

    Janna starts off by telling us about how her new book Black Hole Survival Guide is “dispelling misconceptions about black holes.” You’ll get a quick refresher from Neil and Janna about “spaghettification” and if there’s any way to prevent that from happening to you if you were to fall into a black hole. Janna gives us a detailed description of what happens when you fall into a black hole and why it’s “safer” to fall into a bigger black hole.

    Find out why you create a “storm” when you head into a black hole. Discover what it would be like to watch someone cross the event horizon from a distance. We discuss “time dilation.” You’ll learn what happens when there’s a “ring down” between two black holes.

    If the multiverse is true, can super massive black holes enter other universes? Can we jet between the multiverse using black hole portals? Can you stitch together a black hole and a white hole? You’ll find out what black holes have in common with Doctor Who’s TARDIS. We explore the Black hole information paradox, Hawking radiation, and whether black holes are actually an illusion made by quantum-entangled wormholes.

    Lastly, we discuss why we might have to look beyond general relativity to understand the singularity. We reflect on the Eddington experiment. All that, plus, we end by pondering the Big Rip.

    Thanks to our Patrons Ryan Bariteau, Dan Snider, Shelia Hutson, Austin Cope, Zachary Keirstead, Chris Goshorn, Cory Flanagin, Jacob Lackeym, Adam Albilya, and Russell Konicki for supporting us this week.

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  • Magic Mushrooms, Fungi, and The Mysterious Kingdom with Merlin Sheldrake - Cosmic Queries

    54:17

    Can mushrooms take over your mind? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Matt Kirshen explore the weird world of fungi with fun-guy fungus expert and ecologist, Merlin Sheldrake. Could inactive spores survive space?

    Who discovered mushrooms can affect us psychologically? You’ll learn about the origins of the classification of the kingdom fungi and the use of psychedelic mushrooms. Can psilocybin be synthesized? We explore the world’s great mycelium network and how fungi connect ecosystems. How many spores are in the air at all times? What are the differences between plants and mushrooms? Which one evolved first? There are fungi that like to eat whiskey?

    Can fungi hijack animals? Will the zombie apocalypse be fungi-related? Could fungi potentially seed another planet? Find out how different fungi affect the people and animals who interact with them. What are telltale signs of a poisonous mushroom? Why will some mushrooms kill you and others not? You’ll learn about how some fungi create waves of electrical activity like neurons.

    Discover Matt’s accidental mushroom cultivation and how our world is not so different from the world of James Cameron’s Avatar. Are there still mushrooms being discovered? We explore existing theories about psilocybin’s impact on human evolution. Is it possible that psychedelic mushrooms gave humans the creativity to make fire? How can we use psychoactive mushrooms for depression? Are there ways mushrooms can help us combat climate change? All that, plus, where’s the weirdest place fungi have been found?

    Thanks to our Patrons Bradley Sheldrake, Marc Armstrong, The Warzone12, Luis Cruz, Ely, Andrea Sperini, and 1x4x9 for supporting us this week.

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  • Turning Back Time with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kevin Stone

    49:08

    How do you extend your longevity? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly discuss epigenetics, tissue replacement, nanotech, and how to be in your prime forever with surgeon Dr. Kevin Stone.

    We explore the phenomenon of older athletes staying fit for their sports longer. Are these people outliers or about to become the norm? Is 36 the new 26? We talk about lifestyles like Mick Jagger’s. Is a lot of your health actually in your head? Is it possible to overcome bad habits? How do we make a 30-year sports career possible?

    Which joint is the one to fail first? You’ll learn about the different forms of arthritis and the frontier science that goes into it. How do stem cells work? We talk about replacing body parts and when humans will begin to turn into cyborgs. Discover the leading medicine in extending the length of your mobility.

    Why should humans avoid space travel? We discuss what space does to your body and gene expression. How does epigenetics play a role in our longevity? What is the future of nanotech and surgical robots? Are we going to have robots going through our bodies like The Magic School Bus? We also explore medical applications of 3D printing and how we could regrow body parts. How close are we to living forever?

    Thanks to our Patrons Thomas MacKay, Kristina Norris, ichigo kurosaki, Courtney, Franklin Soto, Josiah Figueroa, and Donjohrae Marts for supporting us this week.

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    0:00 - Introduction
    03:45 - What does the medical profession know about longevity?
    06:28 - Epigenetics and the role of the mind in physical health outcomes
    15:51 - Physical interventions that promote longevity
    19:26 - What is Microfracturing and can it help?
    20:56 - What are anabolic processes? And their role in growth and repair
    23:26 - What dictates the speed of recovery?
    25:07 - The lifespan of your body parts
    29:10 - Dr. Kevin Stone's roster of celebrity clients
    29:38 - Physical interventions for tendons
    31:45 - Longevity science and its implications for the future
    33:58 - AI's role in addressing aging
    35:34 - What causes arthritis?
    36:55 - What space exploration teaches us about the human body
    37:57 - The coming role of gene editing
    39:44 - Where are we going with nanotechnology?
    42:17 - Have we reached the limits of stem cell technology?
    43:42 - Should we be able to live forever?
    45:25 - Will we be able to 3D print body parts?
    47:51 - Closing notes

  • Things You Thought You Knew - Metric system, acceleration, and heat shields with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    41:25

    Metric system, acceleration, and heat shields, Oh my! On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice run us through some things you thought you knew: the metric system in the U.S., speed versus acceleration, and heat shields.

    Why isn’t the U.S. on the metric system? Are there any problems that arise, since we’re not? What even is a meter? Discover the history behind the meter. Are we already inching toward the metric system? We break down why we may be using the metric system more in our daily lives than we originally thought.

    Do you feel the need… the need for speed?! We break down why this might actually be a need for acceleration. Find out about vectors, velocity, and the motion of the earth. Have you ever timed how long it takes for a car to go from zero to 60? You’ll learn about “jerk” as a change of acceleration and what it does to the human body. What does it mean to “feel” speed and the road? We talk cars, planes, and why you can drink a glass of water in a turning airplane without spilling.

    Do heat shields actually shield you from heat? What are heat shields really for? We explore objects entering Earth’s orbit. Do these objects always heat up when they enter our atmosphere? We talk about retrorockets versus aerobraking and how they are both used to land spacecraft in different places. How does landing on Mars differ from landing on Earth or the Moon? Discover our world in another episode of Things You Thought You Knew!

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Has Fun with Fahrenheit

    14:04

    Is it really darkest before the dawn? On this explainer, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore how light, ~heat~, and our daily temperatures work.

    What is the hottest time of day? Why isn’t it when the sun is at its highest in the sky? We break down earth, the atmosphere, and where energy gets absorbed. Why is it so cold up high in an airplane? Or in a desert at night? Find out about deserts and what makes their temperature shifts so extreme. What’s the coldest time of the day? The hottest month of summer? Plus, find out when Celsius and Fahrenheit equal each other, all on another StarTalk explainer!

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Technology and Us, with Ainissa Ramirez and Neil deGrasse Tyson

    52:22

    Do we control technology or does technology control us? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins forces with first-time comic co-host Negin Farsad and material scientist and engineer Ainissa Ramirez, PhD, to explore how technology has shaped the world as we know it. Ainissa is also the author of a new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another.

    Why do we have a love/hate relationship with technology? Negin tells us why she thinks she was born in the wrong era. We discuss the rise of the printing press and our trio nerds out on calligraphy and quill pens. Then, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on how technology has impacted our lives. Ainissa tells us why we’re losing our ability to empathize. Has tech changed our biology? You’ll learn how the internet is re-wiring your brain. We explore how the internet has changed our memories from remembering what the information was to where the information is stored.

    We debate which piece of technology has advanced us the furthest. Ainissa lobbies for steel, Negin gives her thoughts on the printing press, and Neil keeps it simple with the wheel and axle. Then we wonder – how much of technology is reversable? We reminisce on the outcry when Google Glass first launched. Discover more about innovations originally intended for space that have been successfully commercialized in our society.

    We dive into the socioeconomics of technology: will there be a day when technology divides us even more? Are we mature enough to use technology? Is tech more suspectable to conspiracy thinking? Lastly, we discuss which technology worries us the most, why young people don’t get overwhelmed by technology, and how anti-tech and anti-science movements can slow progress. All that, plus, we ponder how to make sure technology is beneficial to all humankind.

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    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains the Space-time Continuum

    13:39

    What are the consequences of playing with the SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM? On this explainer, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice break down the space-time continuum in real life and in pop culture.

    Find out about Einstein's special theory of relativity and our four dimensions. Neil and Chuck make lunch plans as they navigate space and time. What critiques does Neil have of The Terminator and Back to the Future? What are some unintended complications of time travel? Discover the concept of worldliness, getting unstuck from time in Slaughterhouse 5, and how time travel is just a changing of dimensions.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

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  • Space Force: A New Domain with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    54:12

    This week’s episode is brought to you by The Space Force. For more information, please go to #sponsored.

    How much of your life is touched by space? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice break down the newest branch of the US military, The Space Force, with Charles Liu, Major General DeAnna Burt, and Dr. Moriba Jah. Is this one step closer to Star Wars?

    Discover the alliance between astrophysics and the military. What ways are there to destroy a satellite? Charles Liu teaches us about electromagnetic pulses– EMPs– and how they disrupt electronics. Can people be safe from a detonated EMP, like in the movies? How do we protect ourselves against EMPs?

    Next, we speak with Major General DeAnna Burt about her role within The Space Force and what it’s like to form an entire branch of the military from scratch. Who came up with the name Space Force? Is the creation of The Space Force an escalation of military tensions in the world? Is it a step towards war in space? Find out about geosynchronous robotic arms, kinetic kill vehicles, and what The Space Force really does to protect us against threats that exist already. We discuss satellites and just how much of daily life on earth is touched by space. How far does space go? Is The Space Force for the domain of the universe itself?

    What’s the potential for warfare in space? Or the possibility of Star Wars? How do we work together to ensure fights don’t extend into space? Moriba Jah breaks down the objects we’re tracking in our orbit. What do you do when an object is on track to hit another object in orbit? We also discuss the Kessler Effect and what it means for the future of our orbits. How do you regulate and track the booming private satellite industry? All that plus, what about non-human threats?

    Thanks to our Patrons Lisa Cotton, Luis Stark, Oscar h, Travis Mansfield, Justin Thomas, Josh Wise, and Astaroth for supporting us this week.

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  • Alternative Aliens with Andy Weir and David Grinspoon

    54:51

    What do aliens look like? In this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice talk aliens with astrobiologist David Grinspoon, “Dr. Funkyspoon,” featuring Neil's interview with The Martian author, Andy Weir, on his new book Project Hail Mary.

    To start, we discuss what astrobiologists think aliens look like and the fractal architecture present on Earth. Getting into Andy’s book: could microbes live on our sun? What would happen if the sun dimmed? Find out about the oxygen catastrophe that created snowball Earth early in our planet’s history. Are carbon, liquid water, and metabolism always necessary to life? We break down Andy’s invention of “astrophage” and the concept of panspermia.

    What would happen if something cooled the Earth? Discover scenarios where we would have to accelerate our greenhouse effect and other real-life theories on geoengineering. Would plans to shade the sun really help fight global warming? Also find out what species will exploit our changing earth as it gets warmer. Is there life on venus? Acquaint yourself with the cloud people of venus as we explore alternative ways life may exist in our own solar system. What would happen if we needed to invent things very quickly, could we do it?

    We also discuss SpaceX and driving down the price of getting to low-Earth orbit. Once we start sending people into space, will we have space diseases? The Andromeda Strain? You’ll learn the difference between microbes adapted to space and those adapted to a planet. We beg the question, how dare we enter into another world at all? You’ll also discover why we purposefully crashed Casini into Saturn and the Planetary Protection Protocol. All that, plus we talk space exploration, generational spaceships, and space lasers accelerating mini spacecrafts!

    Thanks to our Patrons Jason Mahoney, Connor Snitker, Stephen Fosmark, Christopher Orzechowski, Tony Baker, Mike l Ness, Daniel L Thompson, Ashley Finamore, Luigi Santiago-Villa for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Lunar Geology

    57:11

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about lunar geology alongside planetary scientist Raquel Nuno. And as Raquel says, she’s here to change your mind about the Moon!

    As it turns out, we don’t know very much about the Moon. Raquel explains how the Moon has been a celestial witness to everything Earth has experienced. Learn about some surprising discoveries we’ve made from moon rocks and other samples. You’ll hear how our views on the Moon changed from it being a piece of primordial dust and rock to a place with an incredible geologic history. We also discuss why we currently can’t go back to the Moon.

    Next, we explore the Moon’s craters and why Earth has far fewer craters. What would we find if we extracted a core sample from the Moon? Raquel tells us about finding Moon samples on astronaut space suits. Are there still bacteria alive on the Moon left from the Apollo missions? We explore where the ice on the Moon comes from, and Raquel gives us details on creating “water out of thin space.”

    You’ll learn more about Theia and the “giant-impact” hypothesis. Explore the Moon’s magma ocean of the past. Uncover the “truth” about the dark side of the Moon. Ponder what would happen if the Moon broke apart. Lastly, we discuss the true color of the Moon, and, whether we can terraform the lunar surface. All that, plus, we ask, can a moon have a moon?

    Thanks to our Patrons David Frederick, Jennifer Aiken, Jamie Boneleye, Kyle Walker, Evan Blackburn, Jon Mack, Wyatt Smith, Cole Smart for supporting us this week.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries -- COVID-19 Vaccines

    49:08

    Is a COVID-19 vaccine likely in the near future? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Paul Mecurio answer your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about vaccines for COVID-19 with the help of their guest, Dr. Paul Offit, MD, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

    We start with the big question: What happened? How did an outbreak like this occur in modern times? Paul sheds light on how, if we would’ve known about the outbreak sooner, we could’ve gotten ahead of the virus. We discuss how to navigate dealing with anti-vaxxers and those who don’t want to wear masks. Paul shares his thoughts on the hardest part of vaccine education.

    For a quick refresher on Vaccines 101, Dr. Offit tells us how vaccines work. You’ll learn about the “typical” procedure used to create and distribute a new vaccine and why a vaccine for COVID-19 can be extremely accelerated. We also ponder whether a vaccine might reduce the number of anti-vaxxers? Dr. Paul explains the difference between being a vaccine skeptic vs. being a vaccine cynic.

    Once a vaccine exists, who will get vaccinated first? We discuss strategies in place for when the day comes. We also discuss if COVID-19 will linger around like the flu or if we can remove it from the face of the Earth. You’ll also find out the role young people play with spreading the virus.

    We investigate possible timelines for a COVID-19 vaccine. Paul shares his thoughts on what makes something a “bad” side effect. All that, plus, Neil wonders why medicinal procedures have yet to capitalize on computer simulations to test vaccines on human physiology.

    Thanks to our Patrons Jennifer Sell-Knapp, Chris Reynolds, Rusty Faircloth, Jaclyn Mishak, Jeremy Scott, Alejandra Salinas, Tom Bock, and Marcus Richardson for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

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  • Seeing Earth From Space with Jordan Klepper & Nicole Stott – Cosmic Queries

    49:21

    What do you learn from going to space? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and guest co-host, comedian Jordan Klepper, answer patron questions about living in space with engineer and NASA astronaut, Nicole Stott. What’s the Overview Effect?

    Do we have all we need to send humans to Mars already? If not, what are the things we haven’t figured out? We explore the plane of the solar system versus the plane of the galaxy. Can a human safely feel gravitational waves? Is there a scientific reason for the shape of The Enterprise? Neil explains why he wants things to look cool and how he envisions the future. Will we evolve past a need for design?

    Next, we talk to Nicole Stott and she tells us all about going to space, astronaut hobbies, and why we should be living like space station crewmates on earth. Is it difficult to paint a watercolor in space? We discuss Nicole’s Space for Art Foundation and how she finds inspiration and power in the cosmos. Should we send more artists to space? What about satirical comedians? What does it feel like to look back on earth from space? Do you need different types of art materials in zero G? Nicole breaks down how she had to modify her painting for space and other lifestyle adjustments.

    We discuss the progress of female engineers within NASA and advice for any young women trying to become an astronaut or engineer. What goes on in the body when it goes into space and comes back to earth? Find out what it feels like to feel gravity again. Discover how art can help make science more accessible for the blind, and what programs exist to educate using the different senses. What part of space travel could be made better? We discuss air pressure and strange habits that you pick up from being in space. All that plus, find out about Jordan’s close– and super real– friendship with Buzz Aldrin.

    Thanks to our Patrons Elisa, terrell robinson, Adorak, Leo Azir Ra, Aaron Isaacson, Ian Konkle, and Josh Laurente & Emily McCadden for supporting us this week.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries - Fermentation

    51:22

    All you have to do is let it sit and watch the science happen. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries with Arielle Johnson, PhD, science officer on Good Eats, food writer, and formerly the in-house R&D scientist at Noma, ranked the world’s best restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

    What is fermentation? You’ve heard of fermenting wine, beer, and cabbage, but how does it work? Arielle tells us how fermented foods made their way into our diets. You’ll learn how sugar plays a big part in the fermentation process. What’s the difference between fermented vs. pickled?

    Why doesn’t fermented food make you sick? Why can we eat moldy cheese and not eat moldy bread? We investigate the popularity of kombucha. You’ll learn how kombucha is made. We explore some of the health benefits of kombucha and if there’s any substance behind the claims. You’ll learn if NASA has ever dabbled in fermentation aboard the International Space Station.

    How common is fermentation in the wild? Do other mammals eat fermented fruits or vegetables? We also investigate why vinegar works as a natural preservative. Discover more about the importance of “water activity.” You’ll hear about mulled wine and rice wine. Lastly, we dive into sourdough bread, we ponder whether algae are the food of the future, and we ask Arielle if you can use fermentation to invent new foods.

    Thanks to our Patrons Ryan Bariteau, Dan Snider, Shelia Hutson, Sonya Loeffler, Vishu Kamble, Dusty Switala, Daniel E Puig, Dan McGowan, Sullivan S Paulson, and Nigel Adams for supporting us this week.

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  • Animal Outlaws & Rats A**es with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Mary Roach - Cosmic Queries

    47:49

    What happens when nature commits a crime? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Paul Mecurio discuss law-breaking animals with Mary Roach and her new book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks The Law. Can we hack nature?

    What animals in nature would break laws if they were a part of our society? We discuss the ways animals exist in human society, deer crossings, and when animals jaywalk. Can animals keep up with changing technology? Learn about FID, flight-initiation distance, and what Neil has against pigeons. Why are there no white pigeons? What strange alliances exist in the natural world? Are bears worried about farmed salmon?

    Is there a reason that humans hunt apex predators? Discover the story behind pigeons in New York City, how the 1918 pandemic impacted leopards, and what “rewilding” means. Can a parcel of undisturbed land become a beautiful forest or must it be managed? Discover the history of flightless birds and stoats in New Zealand. Can we ever stabilize an environment? Can we coexist with the natural world?

    In what ways have human contributions helped other animals? Find out about danger trees and how explosives can be good for wildlife. We beg the question: Do bald eagles have any dignity? How do wildfires impact wildlife? Are animals able to escape the blaze? You’ll learn about how cities are making animals larger and what repercussions that has on nature. How come rats aren’t bigger than they are? Are humans speciesist? Is it possible for advanced civilization to be more balanced? All that, plus, what’s the deal with a rat’s ass?

    Thanks to our Patrons Hunter Cutone, Roman Cain, Yoshi Wiklund, Tec MySelf, Jonathan Harries, Net Identification, and William Davis for supporting us this week.

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Medieval Science and History

    53:29

    When you think Middle Ages, does scientific advancement pop into your head? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re exploring the science and history of medieval times as Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Matt Kirshen answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries with Seb Falk, Cambridge Historian of Science and author of The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science.

    Quite a lot happened during the Middles Ages and we start with a brief history. Seb tells us how incremental improvements to science occurred during this time. Find out how science functioned in an age of mysticism and miracles. We discuss “natural magic.” Discover more about the storytelling of medieval maps.

    We explore the invention of the mechanical clock. You’ll investigate the importance of monasteries for educational thinking and how they led to the establishment of medieval universities. Seb explains why, despite common misconceptions, biblical literalism was not popular during the Middle Ages and is a fairly new idea.

    You’ll learn about the transition from Roman numerals to Hindu-Arabic numerals. How important was the cosmos during medieval times? Seb tells us why the real science was happening amongst astronomers. Lastly, we contemplate the lessons that can be learned from studying the past. All that, plus, we ask, is science intuitive to our species?

    Thanks to our Patrons Trumpet Wom', Xavier Sims, Rhys Smith, Michael Fournier, Saawan Patel, Gary Wight, Chris K Samuel, Carson Haynes, Adrian Hernandez, and Sanchit Monga for supporting us this week.

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    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

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  • A Materials World – Hacks & Gizmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jud Ready

    47:53

    How do you invent a new material? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice discuss the science of invention, biomimicry, and answer cosmic queries about materials science from our patrons with professor Dr. Jud Ready.

    What is biomimicry? Discover how materials have encapsulated history. Are we in the silicon age? We explore some of Jud’s students’ inventions like the LZRD sleeve and how he applied his materials science knowledge to create a new tool for both industry and athletics. Find out how a fabric can be inspired by trees. What does it mean for a material to be sticky? We break down how friction impacts us all and how to create a material that is truly durable.

    Why are some sports and activities more susceptible to science innovation than others? What’s the poster child of materials innovation? How can we use 3D printing to innovate? Jud puts on his professor hat and gives us a little glimpse of what students are learning in his golf course. What is the difference between casting metal and forging it? How many factors need to be considered in designing the ultimate golf putter. Learn how academia works when it comes to intellectual property.

    We answer Cosmic Queries about materials science: how will nanotech develop to impact human health? Are people even using “nano” correctly? Could biomechatronics get advanced enough to adapt us for space? Could we build mechanisms into skin? Could biomimicry be used to combat global warming? All that and more on another StarTalk Sports Edition!

    Thanks to our Patrons Austin Smith, Manushya, Robert, Chris, Steven Murphy, Melissa and Kieran Wentzel, and Mark Frieden for supporting us this week.

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  • Jiggle Wiggle Waggle Walk with Charles Liu - Cosmic Queries

    36:10

    Do swimmers need less oxygen? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice answer patron questions about athletics and science with Geek-in-Chief astrophysicist Charles Liu. Could Chuck be a gymnast?

    Is oxygen deprivation a thing in swimming? Or are good swimmers just better at operating with less? We discuss asthmatic swimmers, hemoglobin levels in blood, and The Great Oxygenation of earth’s atmosphere.

    Which sport involves the most hand-eye coordination? We explore the dizzying effects of watching Olympic ping pong and the rules of fencing. Should we replace fencing foils with lightsabers? What’s the weirdest sport at the Olympics games? Find out about Olympic tug-of-war, what Neil has against the triple jump, and the logistics of speed walking. What sort of things are scientists looking at in elite athletics?

    How much would you need to pay Chuck to compete at the Olympics? We break down what it would be like to have a regular control person present at the games, and what events would break Chuck if he even attempted them. What would a swimming race with floaties look like? How do gymnasts jump so high in their routines? Discover energy transfer in the springy floors of gymnastics events. Find out what fields physics majors can work in. What the heck do you do with a physics degree? Are all physics majors destined to become teachers? Is there a way to make javelins fly farther? Should the Paralympics allow swimmers to wear prostheses? All those questions, plus, Charles gives us an encouraging message for physics, sports, and disability.

    Thanks to our Patrons Courtney Miller, Victor Beaton, Charles Anglesey, Rudy Amaya, Tomek, Alex Ornelas, Bronwyn Allen-Kaeser, Jake, Andrew, Heather Turner, and Hector Flores for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

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  • Space Junk, StarLink and Falling Rockets with Moriba Jah – Cosmic Queries

    52:32

    What do we do with all this space junk? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer questions about the stuff we put into orbit with astrodynamicist and space environmentalist, Dr. Moriba Jah. How much stuff and how many satellites are really up there?

    Discover how Moriba discovered his field and his path to studying objects in orbit. What’s the magnitude of the problem with space junk? You’ll learn just how many objects are in low earth orbit and who is responsible for them. What do we do about parts that fall out of orbit toward earth? Is there any way to control it? Do we have any space junk laws?

    We talk about the space debris of different government space projects. Who’s responsible for falling debris? Is the U.S. guilty of this? Can we create a “great junkyard in the sky” in a Lagrange point? Are satellites at risk of colliding with each other? We break down regulations that should be made to manage objects in orbit as we enter a new era in space travel. Should there be space traffic laws?

    Are all these objects making the sky brighter? Find out about how space objects impact light pollution for hobby astronomers and researchers alike. Is all this stuff in the sky going to make stargazing difficult? Are there any solutions to limit how many satellites are in orbit? We discuss plans to remove space junk and how world governments need to coordinate on this. Is our orbit a new wild wild West? Are there any upsides to space junk? All that, plus, find out about eyesonthesky.org and space lasers!

    Thanks to our Patrons Louis Smith, Dana Fambro, David Johnston, Tracy Fox, Charlene Hale, Lucas Pires, and Paulina Banach-Mazur for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Space Balls?

    54:22

    Quidditch in Space? Badminton on Mars? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice answer a grab bag of patron questions about all things athletics with our geek-in-chief astrophysicist Charles Liu.

    To kick things off, we investigate human motion’s relationship with gravity and how to create risk in zero-G sports to keep them exciting. Where’s the fun if you don’t hit the ground? We explore what type of equipment and arenas would be necessary for sports in space. What fundamental physics would change in zero-G that we would need to adjust for? What about on a planet with a different atmosphere than us? We break down gravity, lift, and the ideal gas law.

    Discover the difference between the slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles. Which one would be more useful in a zero-G environment? You’ll learn about how physicists approach acceleration. What does the material of your equipment do to the physics of a ball’s motion? What impacts does our own planet have on our motion? Find out about the coriolis effect and how we can use it to our advantage.

    Why do baseball players spit on their hands? We delve into moisture, grip, and static electricity. Then we ask, will there be a day where there are no more world records? Can humans keep getting faster indefinitely? Will we have to cheat? We break down the 4-minute mile, the 2-hour marathon, and what we can do to keep improving. Learn your physics fundamentals on another episode of StarTalk!

    Thanks to our Patrons CNASTY!, Jilam Dickson, Aden Hahn, Sam O'Neill, Austin Allen, Devan, Phil Brady, Bruce Ryan, Rose, William for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver:



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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • Neil Degrasse Tyson Podcast -Cosmic Queries – Between Planets and Stars, with Jackie Faherty

    55:51

    What lies hidden in the murky hallways of the cosmos? Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist Jackie Faherty, PhD, and co-host Chuck Nice answer your fan-submitted questions on brown dwarfs, interstellar objects, Planet 9, and more!
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  • Cosmic Queries: Absolutely Puzzled with Heather Berlin and Soleil Saint-Cyr

    51:28

    Got a problem? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore the world of puzzles and problem-solving with neuroscientist and clinical psychologist Heather Berlin featuring Soleil Saint-Cyr, the youngest woman to publish a crossword puzzle in the New York Times.

    First, we dive into crossword puzzles with Soleil. What makes people want to construct them? How do you make one? Find out what it takes to get a crossword puzzle into the New York Times. We explore the connection between crossword puzzles, vocabulary, and pattern recognition. Why do people even like crosswords?

    Next, we get to our patron questions with Dr. Berlin. What goes on in the minds of people who do puzzles? Why does anyone want to solve them? Discover our problem-solving roots and why our brains crave it. How far do games and puzzles go back? How does this activate our reward centers? We look into primary and secondary reinforcers and how different games and puzzles work within our minds. Are our brains hardwired for certain games? Why do puzzles seem to have a calming effect?

    We continue with our patron questions, learning how doing puzzles and gaming connects to addiction. Why can’t we stop playing games on our phones? Is this linked to gambling and other addictions? We break down how easy or hard puzzles are and what they do to our brain. Do brain games help us keep our mind sharp as we age? Which ones? How come some puzzles seem to get easier over time? How does the unconscious mind help us solve problems? All that, and we break down the different parts of the brain involved in different types of problem-solving! Plus, hear a special announcement from Chuck!

    Thanks to our Patrons Ken Abe, Oscar h, Travis Mansfield, Skyler Pierce, C Hough, Sunny Day, Ashlynn Iglesias, Shain Dholakiya, Joy Jane, and Elena Grab for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

    Support us on Patreon:

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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • Cosmic Queries – Origins of the Universe, with Janna Levin | StarTalk Radio

    49:26

    Cosmic Queries – Origins of the Universe, with Janna Levin | StarTalk Radio
    What makes up the universe? On this episode of StarTalk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice unveil the new StarTalk book, Cosmic Queries, with theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, breaking down the building blocks of the universe.

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains the Formation of the Moon

    14:12

    Do the Earth and the Moon have a rocky relationship? On this explainer, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore the Moon’s history with the Earth and what we have in store with our orbiting partner. What did the formation of the Moon look like?

    We break down how the Moon formed in our early solar system. Was the Moon always as far away from the Earth? Take a journey to the early days of the Earth’s and the Moon’s formation. What did the Moon rise look like? What were early Earth's tides like? We get into the Earth and the Moon’s rocky past and uncertain future. Is the Earth slowing? Was the Moon always tidally locked to the Earth? What does our future with the Moon look like? All that and more on another StarTalk explainer!

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    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: The Life and Death of Stars with Jackie Faherty

    49:34

    Are we really made of stardust? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Negin Farsad explore questions from our patrons on the life – and death – of stars with astrophysicist Jackie Faherty, PhD.

    We start with questions from our patrons: how do we know how stars are born? What do we know – and don’t know – about the stars in our galaxy? Discover what happens to the planets in a solar system after a star dies. Which planets would survive in our solar system when our own sun starts its death sequence? We talk all things white dwarfs, brown dwarfs, and neutron stars. Are we really all stardust? We break down the astronomer’s periodic table and what all the elements on the periodic table really come from.

    Is a star becoming a black hole just star death or really star evolution? If Jupiter is considered a failed star, are stars just failed blackholes? You’ll learn about brown dwarfs and what it takes to be categorized as a star. How many stars eventually go supernova? How long does a star’s death sequence take? Are there such things as “zombie” stars? We discuss the death of our own star, the different phases of a star’s lifetime, and a scenario where one larger star might feed off another.

    You’ll also discover why previously uninhabitable planets may become inhabitable during a star’s death phase. What would happen if you could theoretically split a star in half? Or if one star hit another star? What would happen if the star nearest to our solar system went supernova? What would it look like? Are more distant stars bigger and do they have shorter lives? Plus, find out why we probably don’t want to live on a planet neighboring a supergiant star on another StarTalk Cosmic Queries!

    Thanks to our Patrons The Warzone12, 1x4x9, Michael Borger, Michael Meyn, Hieu Trinh, Vegard Gjertsen, Gavin Dhillon, Xavier Sims, Ram Kumar, and Rhys Smith for supporting us this week.

    About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

    “Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver:

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • StarTalk Podcast: Climate and Diet of Early Humans, with Tina Lüdecke

    48:08

    What were early humans like? What did they eat? What did they do? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Matt Kirshen investigate the diet of early humans and the climate conditions of Earth during that time with geochemist Tina Lüdecke.

    You’ll find out about Tina’s research studying early humans from 1-4 million years ago. We investigate what happened during the Paleolithic era. How has the environment changed? Tina tells us how isotopes can be used as a “fingerprint” to understand the diet of early humans. You’ll learn why there isn’t just one paleo diet.

    We discuss meat consumption in early humans and how that changed the course of civilization. Were there any condiments used by early humans? Can you ever study fossilized food? Tina explains how we can study fossilized feces and we reminisce about Jurassic Park.

    Then, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. Can we learn anything from early humans that might help us adapt to climate change in the future? We explore the invention of cooking meat. You’ll find out why the advancements of cooked food helped our brains grow. All that, plus, we ponder what kind of evolutionary changes might occur due to the impact of climate change.

    Thanks to our Patrons Cristina Magistrali, Toren Wallengren, Eric Huffman, Julia Casey, Colton Siefker, Daniel Wenger, Matias Mancini, John Thompson, Chris Krish, and Alvero Wiggins for supporting us this week.

    Black Swan” & White Swan limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
    YouTube:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • Stars Talk to Neil deGrasse Tyson – Rocket Fuel, The Observer Effect, and Classical Physics

    43:07

    The observer effect? Rotating bodies? The science of rocket fuel? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice answer science questions from our favorite professional athletes: Jerry Rice, Lindsey Vonn, Eli Manning, and more!

    When you look away from a quantum particle, where did it go? We break down the observer effect for Tony Gonzalez. Find out how the quantum realm is probabilistic instead of deterministic. How does light affect quantum particles? Are there some things that we can never observe? Like the refrigerator light? Does the act of observing change it?

    Next, Shawn Green asks how far away we are from exploring other solar systems. Will we witness interstellar travel in our lifetime? Discover the science of rocket fuel and the difference between endothermic and exothermic reactions. How can chemicals create such potent reactions? Could there one day be electric rockets? Or wormholes? Jerry Rice asks us: why does the football go farther when it spins? Find out about the aerodynamics and friction of a flying football. Eli Manning asks us about the physics of tackling. What’s the momentum of a two-player system? We break down the classical physics at play in football.

    Lindsey Vonn asks us if there is any validity to astrology. Can planet or star alignment impact people’s behavior? Neil takes us back to the pre-scientific era and the human notion that we are the center of the universe. Finally, Joey Brezinski asks us about the changes to our climate during COVID-19. Is there a way to maintain the unintended environmental benefits of the pandemic in a post-pandemic world? We discuss air pollution and worldlines. Should the virus be a motivator to clean up the planet? All that, plus, watch out for a scientific literacy virus: it may impact your stance on vaccines.

    Thanks to our Patrons Ken Abe, Al Long, Chloe Rudel-Holland, Sara, Rafał Żak, Alexander Whisnant, and Galactic Raven for supporting us this week.

    NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

    Support us on Patreon:

    FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk:
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    About StarTalk:
    Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

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