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StarTalk Podcast: Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Deadliest Cosmic Queries

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Deadliest Cosmic Queries

    47:26

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are ready to get morbid. We’ve gathered your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries that explore all things death, from the death of humanity to the death of the universe.

    To start, we explore what reality would be like in an apocalypse. Neil tells us what skills he thinks would be necessary to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. We discuss the importance of having the right weapon in a post-apocalyptic world. This leads Neil to air his grievances with the lightsabers found in Star Wars. You’ll find out how a meteor strike would disrupt civilization as we know it. We also explore The Walking Dead and its emphasis on the true danger of a zombie apocalypse: human relationships.

    Discover more about the death of humanity. Will we outlive the Earth? How long will humanity survive? Are artificially intelligent computers secretly waiting to take over the world? We break down the inverse relationship between intelligence and survival. Neil describes how the universe will end not with a bang, but with a whimper.

    Find out how Neil and Chuck want to die! We investigate the 2005 film War of the Worlds and how it differs from the original story by H.G. Wells. Neil recites the final narration from the film and from the original story.

    Then, we dive headfirst into black holes. We ponder if the universe could be victim to a collective hyper-massive black hole. You’ll also hear about Hawking radiation. You’ll learn the difference between disintegrating and decomposing. Lastly, we debate if human contact is necessary for your own survival. All that, plus, you’ll find out who might have been the loneliest person in history.

    This episode originally aired as a podcast on December 27, 2019.

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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

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – The Random Edition, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    51:57

    Thanks to Wix for sponsoring this video! Create your website now:

    It’s time for another episode of Cosmic Queries, where your own personal astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson answers, sight unseen, fan submitted questions chosen by his co-host. This week, Chuck Nice asks Neil questions on a wide variety of topics that we couldn’t answer in other episodes, from alien plant life, to colonizing Mars, to whether velocity could be considered a dimension.

    You’ll find out if the constellations would look different from Saturn, whether there’s a north pole to our universe, and why astronomers got the Mily Way’s north pole wrong in the first place. Discover why a stable black hole can’t exist inside a star, and how the expansion of our Sun will affect the Earth. You’ll learn how scientists knew to leave gaps in the periodic table of the elements, and why the moon is spiraling away from the Earth at 5 inches a year. Neil speculates on what the bright spot on the dwarf planet Ceres might be, whether we’ll explore Jupiter’s moon Europa in our lifetimes, and if we’ll find life in its subsurface ocean.

    You’ll also hear how NASA inventions led to grooved highway pavement and safer, cheaper LASIK surgery. On the lighter side, Neil and Chuck talk about Neil’s famous vests, the Ship of the Imagination from COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey, YouTube’s famous “Double Rainbow Guy,” and the wrestling move Neil always wanted to invent which he calls the “Double Tidal Lock.”

    This episode originally aired on August 26, 2016.

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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 #CosmicQueries

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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries - Out There with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    50:54

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-host Harrison Greenbaum, and astrophysicist Janna Levin answer questions on the far away and the far out, including Andromeda's impending collision with the Milky Way, white holes, a holographic universe, and more. Prepare to get trippy!

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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 #Science

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

    54:17

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we bring you the classic StarTalk formula that you’ve come to know and love. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on the mysteries of the universe, specifically, black holes and dark energy.

    We start with a simple question: are we sure there’s a black hole at the center of the galaxy? Neil teaches us the methods we use to measure black holes. He also reminds us of the Copernican principle. You’ll learn why the more massive the galaxy, the more massive the black hole at its center. Neil and Chuck reminisce on the movie Marooned. Discover more about electron degeneracy, neutron stars, and pulsars.

    You’ll hear if it’s possible for a black hole to re-ignite into a star once it loses enough mass through Hawking radiation. Chuck has an idea for a science fiction film about a killer black hole until Neil squashes it with some Star Trek trivia. We explore whether a black hole can warp spacetime around it. You’ll learn what happens to the gravitational well of a star if the star comes across a black hole. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a show about black holes if we didn’t talk about the movie Interstellar.

    We ponder if “Planet 9” could be a black hole. If the Earth turned into a black hole would it still orbit the sun? The answer may surprise you. We investigate what might be at the center of a supercluster. Then, we dive into dark energy. Neil explains why dark energy is still mysterious. You’ll also learn more about the Albedo effect and the Doppler shift. All that, plus, you’ll find out if dark energy has an impact on your everyday life.

    This episode originally aired February 24, 2020.

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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

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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

  • 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

    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 – Volcanoes, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    47:42

    Is the super volcano under Yellowstone going to erupt? What’s the difference between lava and magma? Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and volcanologist Janine Krippner, PhD, answer fan-submitted questions about volcanoes.

    How many active volcanoes are in the world right now? Janine tells us about the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program which keeps tabs on all the active volcanoes in the world. Find out how the Ice Age wiped the volcanic record clean. You’ll learn the difference between magma and lava. Janine tells us what’s really going on with the super volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park. You’ll find out why Janine isn’t a fan of the term “super volcano.”

    We take it back to the basics: why do volcanoes explode? We explore why eruptions are important, and, why volcanoes play an important role in our ecosystems. We discuss how volcanoes contribute to climate change – and how they pale in comparison to human activity.

    Discover more about the different types of eruptions. We ponder whether proximity to geological activity enhances people’s desire to study it. Janine shares why robots won’t be taking the jobs of volcanologists any time soon. You’ll hear about lava – if it moves so slowly, how is it so destructive? You’ll also learn about “pyroclastic flow.”

    Lastly, we investigate how many dormant volcanoes have the potential to cause mass devastation on Earth. Janine shares why there’s uncertainty around predicting eruptions. Is society ready for a massive eruption? All that, plus, Janine tells us what volcanoes can teach us about the inside of our planet.

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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

  • 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 – 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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    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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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Hubble Space Telescope, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    53:05

    It was only supposed to last 3-5 years and it’s been orbiting for 30. Neil deGrasse Tyson celebrates the Hubble Space Telescopes 30th anniversary with comic co-host Chuck Nice and Hubble senior project scientist Jennifer Wiseman, PhD.

    You’ll learn how proposals are selected to receive telescope time. Jennifer tells us about “director discretionary time” which allows the director of the Space Telescope Science Institute to allot time for ideas and research for larger projects or projects that might not be otherwise considered in the general selection process. Jennifer tells us about an instance when director discretionary time allowed for Hubble to be pointed at “nowhere” – resulting in the Hubble Deep Field image, one of the most iconic images Hubble has ever taken. Jennifer also explains how long an idea can take from proposal to final publication.

    You’ll learn about the Hubble science team’s massive data archive that’s open for everyone. Explore some of Hubble’s most interesting discoveries. Discover more about Hubble’s work on finding supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies. We also explore the work researching the expansion of the universe.

    We ponder what the most important fields of discovery will be over the next decade. You’ll find out about Hubble’s collaborative work alongside the Juno probe to Jupiter and the New Horizons probe that went to, and past, Pluto. We also discuss the exciting world of exoplanets. Lastly, Jennifer reveals how long she thinks Hubble can stay in orbit and whether the telescope could ever be sold to a private company. All that, plus, Jennifer shares her favorite Hubble discovery over the past 30 years!
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    Original air date: April 13, 2020

    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 #NASA

  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Science is Cool, with Neil deGrasse Tyson & PocketLab

    54:40

    Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice answer Cosmic Queries about colonizing Mars, promoting science, stimulating curiosity, stargazing, and more for a remote audience of thousands of science teachers. Recorded live at ScIC3 in collaboration with PocketLab.

    We start by exploring how curiosity can be stimulated and maintained in the classroom. Find out the importance of keeping curiosity alive especially during difficult times. Neil explains how curiosity and creativity go hand in hand. With anti-science movements present in our society, how do we make sure the importance of science isn’t overlooked? We discuss advertising science through public service announcements. Find out why Neil thinks part of the teaching curriculum should involve “querying nature” in order for students to discover how and why science works.

    Will we colonize the Moon or Mars any time soon? Neil shares his thoughts on why we won’t, and it’s not because we won’t have the capabilities. You’ll learn about some space-related activities that can help young children spark their interest in the universe. Neil also gives his recommendations on how to get started in stargazing. And, he tells us what astrophysics concepts are most important for everyone to know.

    Find out where in space Neil would take a field trip. We talk about how to bring science into other classrooms. For our last segment, PocketLab co-founder Dave Bakker joins Neil and Chuck to ask some final questions. We discuss the importance of being scientifically literate. All that, plus, Neil gives his final reflections on the importance of having influential teachers.

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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

  • 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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    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.

    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

  • 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.

    Support us on Patreon:

    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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    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 -- 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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    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

    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 – 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.

    Support us on Patreon:

    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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    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 – 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

    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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  • StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries - Fermentation

    53:14

    Check out and get 50% off your first month of any subscription!

    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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  • Cicada Invasion! With Jessica Ware - Cosmic Queries

    50:06

    Are you ready for the cicada invasion? In this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Negin Farsad sit down with evolutionary biologist and entomologist Jessica Ware to answer your questions about the millions of cicadas expected to emerge this summer after 17 years underground.

    To kick things off, we talk about how one even gets involved in entomology– the study of bugs– dragonflies, and the basics of what the heck is happening with cicadas this summer. Why do they stay underground for 17 years? Is there a strategy? How do they keep time to know when to come out? We explore what cicada broods are, what they eat for 17 years, and what cicada puberty looks like.

    Are there any positive consequences to the cicada invasion? How do cicadas impact the environment? How does our changing environment impact cicadas? And most importantly, what do cicadas even do? Discover why cicadas even emerge from the ground in the first place. You’ll also find out what cicadas taste like and whether they’d be a good source of protein.

    Will the skies be filled with swarms of cicadas? You’ll learn how many cicadas there will be, why their underground stage is not actually hibernation, and how long they will be joining us on the surface. In classic StarTalk fashion, we ask ourselves if there are any lessons from cicadas to be taken for human space travel. How have human settlement impacted cicadas? All that, plus, learn everything you need to know about this summer’s cicada takeover and above all: would Neil be willing to eat a cicada or two?

    Thanks to our Patrons Kaz Barnes, Philippe Dewindt, M. Tristan Moody, Dan Hadfield, Wavezzz, Tony Le, Kyle Marston, Colten Judd, Rafael Ignacio Aguilar Carrillo, Caleb Martin 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • StarTalk Podcast: Physics All Around Us, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    49:22

    Did you know there are physics at work all around us? Join your personal astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice as they answer fan-submitted questions on the physics of life, big and small.

    This episode originally aired on StarTalk Radio on April 12, 2019.

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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.

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  • StarTalk Chat Room: A Deep Dive Into the Cosmos, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    36:02

    On this episode of StarTalk Chat Room, we dive into episodes five and six of Cosmos: Possible Worlds. Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined in-studio by comic co-host Chuck Nice and neuroscientist Heather Berlin, PhD to break down the ins and outs of what went down in each episode.

    We start with episode five, “The Cosmic Connectome,” which investigates the wiring and functionality of the brain. Heather gives us a little history on the discovery of epilepsy. We explore the invention of the electroencephalogram (EEG) which is a test to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain. You’ll learn why epilepsy can be either genetic or “acquired.” You’ll also learn about the different types of seizures that can occur including “absence seizures.” Neil ponders if we will be able to diagnose someone with epilepsy before they have their first seizure. And, Heather tells us about some of the bleeding edge work being done at the Blue Brain Project and the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

    Then, we move on to episode six, “The Man of a Trillion Worlds,” which explores Carl Sagan’s impact on science communication. Discover how the terms like “astrobiology” came to be because of Carl. Neil and Chuck discuss Cosmos’ interesting use of animation to depict history.

    Neil takes us back to the first time he met Carl Sagan. He tells us about his trip to Cornell and his memorable visit to Carl’s office. We discuss the value of mentorship. You’ll learn why Neil eventually chose to go to Harvard over Cornell. All that, plus, you’ll hear why the field of science communication and beyond owes a debt of gratitude to Carl Sagan.

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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.

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

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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 – Edge of the Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Janna Levin

    53:26

    What’s beyond the edge of the universe? Is there even an edge at all? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson answers your fan-submitted questions about the mysteries, wonders, and theories that exist on the bleeding edge of cosmology. But in order to explore the true depths of the unknown we need to bring in a little extra help – enter astrophysicist Janna Levin, PhD.

    We start with the basics: is the universe infinite? Janna tells us why we’re still uncertain. We explore the idea of the multiverse and the idea of our universe never having an “edge.” Could those distant galaxies we see be our own galaxy in the past? As if that’s not mind-bending enough, we haven’t even gotten to the dimensionality questions yet.

    Find out more about other possible dimensions. We discuss why it’s so difficult to detect other dimensions, if they’re even there in the first place. Janna and Neil help us visualize a 4th dimension. You’ll hear why adding another dimension might provide too much freedom for molecules to bind together and create macroscopic things. We also explore the idea that our three dimensions are glued to a membrane that’s floating in a higher dimensional space. We reflect on Monsters, Inc. and how the film plays with moving through different dimensions.

    Discover more about the shape of our universe. Could it be in the shape of a loop? We break down the Big Bang and the birth of the universe. Find out more about dark matter, dark energy, and if they’re two sides of the same coin. Janna explains why dark energy should be thought of as an invisible ocean. Investigate the “information” that lies on the surface of a black hole. We track Voyager 2’s journey into interstellar space and what that means for us back on Earth. All that, plus, Janna shares why she thinks the study of dark matter and dark energy are the most important fields of study in science today.

    This episode originally aired December 6, 2019.

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  • Nerd Olympics, Athletes AI, and Usain Bolt with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    23:26

    Do athletes use artificial intelligence? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice answer patron questions and get into a nerd fight about the Olympics with physics professor and martial artist John Eric Goff.

    Are there unique ways that athletes can train their minds to not choke? Do some sports need more mental focus than others? How the heck is golf in the Olympics? We debate whether the horse should get the medal in equestrian events and the differences between golf and baseball. Are there athletes taking advantage of artificial intelligence? What new tech is being used at the Olympics. Should there be rules? What’s an unfair advantage? Discover the top speed of a human being and the different running strategies of Usain Bolt and Sha’Carri Richardson. All that, plus, does weed make you faster.

    Thanks to our Patrons Dave Armstrong, Jamie Ferns, Sam Arnold, Jesse Pinette, evan stegall, Sam Couch, and Payton Hawk for supporting us this week.

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

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  • Robot Ethics with Dr. Kate Darling — Cosmic Queries

    52:19

    Are robots going to take over the world? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Negin Farsad explore the future of artificial intelligence by looking at our past with the animal kingdom joined by robot ethicist and author of A New Breed, Dr. Kate Darling.

    What is the biggest ethical challenge we’re facing with robots? Find out why there might be bigger challenges ahead with robots than a science fiction takeover. We answer patron questions and discuss how humans already use other beings to supplement our skills. Would we use robots to build a habitat on Mars? What are the challenges of making a robot for space? If robots were construction workers would they still catcall?

    Is robot Tinder going to happen? We break down robotic ethics and ask, just because we can do something does that mean we should? Could robots ever breed or self-program their own behaviors? What is our definition of intelligence? How do robots change the nature of warfare? Should there be a ban on autonomous weapons? What sort of responsibility do we need in creating– or not creating– artificially intelligent weapons.

    What happens when robots achieve consciousness? Discover why this watershed moment is more nuanced than meets the eye. Could we make robots that have brains as complex as our own? Also find out how robot intelligence functions differently than human intelligence. How are our biases influencing what we build into machines? Does AGI, artificial general intelligence, hold real potential? How do we define consciousness? All that, plus, Negin explains her goth mime phase, all on another episode of StarTalk!

    Thanks to our Patrons Dino Vidić, Violetta + my mom, Izzy, Jeni Morrow, Sian Alam, Leonard Drikus Jansen Van Vuuren, Marc Wolff, LaylaNicoleXO, Eric Colombel, Jonathan Siebern, and Chris Beck 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!

    #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson

  • 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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    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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  • The Science of Scary with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mathias Clasen, & Heather Berlin

    55:20

    Why do we like being scared? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore the haunting effects of horror and recreational fear with horror scholar and author, Mathias Clasen, and neuroscientist, Heather Berlin, PhD.

    What is recreational fear? We discuss why humans like to be scared and when it starts. Are there personality traits that cause people to like horror? We take a deep dive into how horror affects the body and the mind. Are there benefits to watching horror movies? Can horror movies worsen mental health? We discuss how being prepared for a zombie apocalypse has more than one benefit.

    Can you be immune to getting scared? Or immune to laughter? Why do some people love horror and some people hate it? We break down why someone who spends their life in danger might still want to watch something that puts them in pretend danger. Have we run out of horror movie plots? Why aren’t horror movies about real things we fear? We discuss the jump scare, the cultural status of horror, and whether comedy enhances it. Chuck pitches us his horror movie “Night of the Living Overdue Mortgage Payment.” What’s Neil’s favorite horror movie of all time?

    Next, Heather breaks down the neurological background of fear. Why do people seek fear out? Is there a therapeutic value? You’ll learn about the parasympathetic nervous system, the amygdala, and the origins of our fear response. Also, why are teens in horror movies so dumb? What is the difference between anxiety and fear? Find out why there are no guns in horror movies and The Little Albert Experiment. Can you classically condition someone to have an irrational fear? All that plus, find out what Neil is really afraid of.

    Thanks to our Patrons Jessica Giancola, Jeff States, seth 06, Matthew Ritter, Kelvin Goliday, Kenny PK, and Kaya for supporting us this week.

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

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  • StarTalk Podcast: The End of The World, with Josh Clark and Neil deGrasse Tyson

    49:22

    What will cause humanity's demise? Will it be it artificial intelligence, a meteor, or ourselves? Neil deGrasse Tyson answers fan questions with comic co-host Chuck Nice and Josh Clark, host of the Stuff You Should Know and The End of The World podcasts.

    This show aired as a StarTalk Radio podcast on February 1, 2019.

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson: There Is No Speed of Dark

    1:34

    What is the speed of dark? And is that even a legitimate question? Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman discuss this Cosmic Query and separate the scientific from the philosophical. If you love StarTalk Radio, don't miss out on any StarTalk news. Sign up for our free newsletter:

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  • StarTalk Podcast: What Are the Odds?

    51:38

    What are the odds that a last-second Hail Mary pass will work? How can machine learning and artificial intelligence help us decide to go for it? On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice investigate with mathematician and author Matt Ginsberg.

    We investigate how superstition can manifest itself in sports when people can’t control the outcome. Matt tells us how he assists sports programs by using data to help predict certain scenarios and patterns. You’ll learn why machine learning is “statistics on steroids.”

    Find out why Matt says you can’t predict anything with 100% certainty. We explore “asset management” in sports and using data to find surprises. We ask, “If you can find everything you need with numbers why do we still need coaches?” Matt tells us about his work with the Oregon Ducks volleyball program and how the NCAA intervened.

    Matt explains why you should always go for it on 4th and 1. Matt shares his experiences dealing with coaches and their “not-invented-here” syndrome. Discover more about using naturally-occurring data vs. using synthetic data. Matt also tells us about the football play he invented – the passing/optional self-safety. All that, plus, you’ll hear why every underdog in football should go for two every time.

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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: The Right Stuff with Astronaut Scott Kelly and Dr. Chris Mason

    55:27

    What does it take to be an astronaut? On this episode of StarTalk: Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice break down the physical effects of being in space and the results of the astronaut twins study with guests astronaut Scott Kelly and biophysicist Chris Mason.

    We dive into the training and tests astronauts have to go through for the selection process with Scott Kelly. How does your body feel when it's in space? What changes? How does it feel to be up there for a year? We explore the logistics of the astronaut twins study that compared Scott Kelly’s time in space with his twin brother Senator Mark Kelly’s identical time here on Earth. Discover how Scott’s genome changed in comparison to his brother’s and what he has in common with Japanese space worms.

    Next, we sit down with Chris Mason, the lead doctor on the study, to talk about what they discovered about how earth life reacts to being in zero gravity. What sort of damage happens to our chromosomes in space, if any? Are there downstream generation effects of trauma? How do you construct a study like this? What specifically were they looking for? Find out how much data was collected, the microbiome of the International Space Station, and how they did gene sequencing space. What were some of the results of the study? Could humans be engineered to be better equipped for long-term space travel?

    You’ll learn what COVID-19 patients have in common with astronauts returning to Earth and what effects returning to 1G has on the body. Will space travel ever be comfortable for humans? In 500 years are we going to look back on our discoveries from now as being a bit basic? All that, plus we discuss extinction and our duty as humans to combat it, the ethics of generational spaceships, and the concept of storing fertilized eggs on the moon.

    Check out Scott Kelly’s book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery and Chris Mason’s book The Next 500 Years.

    Thanks to our Patrons Jamie Ferns, evan stegall, Payton Hawk, Farid El Nasire, Steve Lindauer, Austin Lawrence, Cory Farnum, Nathan Mills, Trumpet Wom', and Noah 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:

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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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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Wind Chill Factor and More

    18:00

    It’s time for some more knowledge you didn’t think you needed to know. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice team up for another StarTalk explainer about the science behind wind chill and more.

    What is wind chill factor? Find out how the temperature of the air interacts with your skin. We explore why a breeze can help rapidly alter your temperature when you’re interacting with the elements. You’ll learn why your skin will cool faster in a mix of air and water. Discover how to create a “liquid” chill factor.

    Is there still wind chill factor when it’s hot? You’ll explore why the answer is yes and why you know it better as a “cool breeze.” Neil explains why you feel cooler in the shade even if the air temperature is the same. What happens if the air temperature goes above your skin temperature? You’ll get the answer to that, plus, discover what happens when you go from a wind chill factor to a wind heat factor.

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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

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson | Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - The Art of Charm Podcast Episode 617

    1:15:14

    Full show notes for this episode can be found here:


    On this episode of The Art of Charm, we're pleased to present science champion Neil deGrasse Tyson. His complete resume would be too lengthy to list here, but some highlights include Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and StarTalk, and author of The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

    If you already know who he is, he needs no further introduction. And if you don't know who he is, you have our permission to take in this episode twice. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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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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    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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  • The Stars of Titanic: Neil deGrasse Tyson Weighs In

    8:21

    Thanks to Under Lucky Stars for sponsoring this video! Create your own star map now at

    While he was sitting in the theatre watching the movie, Neil deGrasse Tyson noticed that the stars in the movie Titanic were in the wrong place. Find out how the mistake happened in the first place, what Neil said to James Cameron and what James Cameron said back to Neil, and how Neil was eventually asked to create the night sky for the revised Centennial Director's Cut of the film.

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Black Holes

    14:51

    What is a black hole? On this mashup of StarTalk's best explanations of black holes, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice take us through all you need to know about black holes, featuring Janna Levin.

    What happens if you fall into a black hole? We explore spaghettification, high gravity, and how we know if something orbits a black hole. How big is the black hole at the center of our galaxy? Find out about the Copernican principle and how many galaxies have black holes. Discover Hawking Radiation, quantum physics, antimatter, and what goes on at the event horizon. What does a black hole look like inside the event horizon? Is there a loss of information? All that, plus, are there wormholes inside black holes? Is it all an illusion?

    00:00 What is a Black Hole?
    02:32 The Center of a Black Hole
    05:47 Hawking Radiation and the Event Horizon

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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 – 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.

    Support us on Patreon:

    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

  • Extended Classic – Cosmic Queries: Colonizing Mars

    52:03

    Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice answer your Cosmic Queries about colonizing Mars. Now extended with more questions on militarizing space, the wild frontier of space law, planetary orbits, gravity, Pluto, the heliosphere, the Drake equation, Panspermia, and more.

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Generational Spaceships

    12:14

    What if you lived your whole life on a spaceship and never saw the final destination? On this StarTalk explainer, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice investigate generational spaceships.

    We discuss the ethical questions posed by the idea of generational spaceships. Would you ever plan to come back to Earth? Neil and Chuck ponder the idea of artificial incubation and Chuck raves about the new show Raised by Wolves.

    Lastly, Chuck tells us why he wants astronauts to come back with superpowers after a long journey away from Earth. All that, plus, you’ll hear why Earth itself is a generational ship.

    Support us on Patreon:

    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: Neil deGrasse Tyson Has a Conversation with Jordan Klepper

    48:54

    On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with comedian, political satirist, and host Jordan Klepper. Jordan got his start on The Daily Show and is the current host of his new show Klepper. Klepper is a docuseries that takes you to the front lines of activism, whether that puts Jordan in a capsized boat with environmental protesters in a Louisiana bayou or waiting to post bail at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia.

    You’ll learn about Jordan’s upbringing in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the “shadow” of Derek Jeter. Jordan tells us about his roots in mathematics and how he went to school at the “nerd farm,” and he explains how having a math background allowed him to be an analytical thinker in the comedy world.

    Discover more about Jordan’s new show. He takes us inside the process of how he and his team try to come up with a formula to make disturbing topics educational and funny – while also shining a light on people taking action. Jordan shares how he got arrested while filming and how that led to the perfect poster for the show.

    Next, we dive into space exploration and the episode of Klepper that investigated the future of the American space program. Find out about Jordan’s space geekiness. He tells us how he got super into The Right Stuff and wouldn’t shut up about it for months. You’ll also hear what is was like for him to get drinks with Scott Kelly at an astronaut bar.

    We ponder if the audacity of our current administration is exactly what we need in order to ignite another Moon shot or Mars shot. Get details on Jordan’s visit to HI-SEAS, the Martian simulation station in Hawaii, as well as his time spent at Space Camp. Lastly, Neil and Jordan debate whether monetization, or even a lottery system, will play a key role in future space exploration. All that, plus, Jordan explains why training to be an astronaut is similar to being in an improv troupe.

    This episode originally aired June 21, 2019.

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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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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson & Brian Greene Reenact a Scene from Gravity at StarTalk Live

    2:17

    What would really have happened in the Oscar winning movie Gravity when George Clooney cut himself loose from Sandra Bullock? Find out in this re-enactment starring astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as Sandra Bullock, physicist Brian Greene as George Clooney, and Eugene Mirman as The Space Station. Co-starring Michael Ian Black as the man with the theory and NASA astronaut Mike Massimino as the only guy on stage who has actually been into space. (This recently unearthed video was shot at StarTalk Live at Town Hall in NYC on Nov 4th, 2013 by Stacey Severn.)

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Why The Sky Is Blue

    13:12

    Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to help you answer that question alongside comic co-host Chuck Nice. And, you’re about to find out why the answer is easy to understand, but not that simple.



    You’ll learn how the white light from the sun interacts with the atmosphere through a process called “Rayleigh scattering” that makes the sky blue. Neil tells us why the sky turns different shades as the day goes on, and why the sunset changes from blue to amber.


    Discover why the reason we have a blue sky is the same reason you can’t see stars during the daytime. And, how this lead to the discovery of the operational definition of where the atmosphere ends and space begins. Neil explains why he thinks space should be defined by gravity and not by the circumstances of our atmosphere. Lastly, Neil gives us a lesson on the frailty of our atmosphere and our delicate place among the stars.


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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

  • 568

    58:41

    Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, host of the Webby-Nominated podcast StarTalk, and author of the new book Cosmic Queries; Rachel Bitecofer – Political scientist and co-founder of Strike PAC; Rob Reiner – Filmmaker and activist.

  • How Lethal Viruses Jump Species: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Laurie Garrett

    6:38

    Is it common for viruses to jump to humans from other species? And are human activities like trading in exotic animals increasing the frequency? Virus expert Laurie Garrett explains to Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice how viruses like Ebola and HIV jump from animals like bats and primates to humans through zoonosis and why're they're so lethal when they do.

    This Behind the Scenes video was shot during the recording of our episode, Cosmic Queries: Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics. If you'd like to listen to the full podcast, click here:

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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmic Bruises and the Multiverse

    2:18

    Have other universes collided with our universe, leaving cosmic bruises on the cosmic background radiation, and what does that imply about our expanding universe? In answering a fan's Cosmic Query, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman ponder the possibility of cosmic collisions and discuss the physics of the multiverse.

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  • Startalk Podcast Radio ep 109: The Great American Eclipse with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Joe Rao

    55:22

    Startalk Podcast Radio ep 109: The Great American Eclipse with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Joe Rao
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  • How Will the Cosmos Kill You?

    9:21

    On this deadly episode of Wheel Of Science, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice answer YOUR questions about how the cosmos can kill us all! Find out how the sun could expand and vaporize us, how space rocks could eliminate life on earth, and how solar storms and increased radiation could render life on earth extinct.

    SHARE this episode with someone who will save us from the apocalypse.

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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

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