Blog Posts

This Sunday, Say Goodbye to the Guinea Worm

Photo of former President Jimmy Carter comforting a little girl with guinea worm disease. Published: 30 May 2015

Which former US president was an engineer and nuclear physicist? Which former US president was in charge of building the second nuclear submarine, the Seawolf? Finally, which former US president has led the battle against the guinea worm, reducing the number of worldwide cases of the disease from 3.5 million in 1986 to 126 cases […]

This Friday and Saturday: It’s the Return of Manhattanhenge!

Manhattanhenge, a photo by Neil deGrasse Tyson Published: 27 May 2015

How did it get to be the end of May already? While we’ve been preparing for tomorrow night’s StarTalk Live! at the Apollo Theater, Manhattanhenge came sneaking up on us. What is Manhattanhenge, you may ask? Twice a year, the setting Sun aligns precisely with the streets of Manhattan, “creating a radiant glow of light […]

“How will I see the stars if things get worse?”

Selfie with members of Objective 350: Clare, Sarah, Emily and Page. Credit: Clare Burhenne. Published: 20 May 2015

Not every teenager is apathetic about science and unwilling to get involved in addressing climate change. Here’s a guest post from Clare Burhenne, a Connecticut high school student/amateur astronomer who started Objective350 with a group of teens concerned about climate change. You can contact Clare and Objective350 via the links at the end of this […]

This Sunday, Cosmic Queries are back!

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice in studio recording StarTalk Radio. Published: 15 May 2015

Cosmic Queries are back! Now that we’ve helped the TV show get off the ground, we’re returning to our regular Sunday night mix of episode formats, including StarTalk Live! podcasts and more Cosmic Queries, some which will be hosted by Neil like this Sunday’s episode and some with Bill Nye as our guest host. We’ll […]

Results of Our Fan Design T-Shirt Contest

Image of StarTalk Fan Design T-Shirt Contest Designer: @attentionstaff Published: 12 May 2015

The votes have all been counted and we have our winners. Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, both the designers and everyone who voted. We had nearly 50 designs submitted, and there were lots of awesome shirts in the mix. Well done. Here are the designs that got the most votes, ending […]

Warning: Adult Content this Sunday on StarTalk Radio

Clip art depicting modern love as discussed on StarTalk in "The Evolution of Love and Sex with Dan Savage.". Credit: leremy/iStock/Thinkstock. Published: 9 May 2015

Warning: Adult Content. We don’t need to say that too often on StarTalk Radio. An errant expletive here, an obscene song lyric there. But when it comes to this Sunday’s podcast, The Evolution of Love and Sex with Dan Savage, that warning should come in bold, pulsating letters. Not that there are any four-letter words […]

Help Us Decide On New StarTalk T-Shirts – Voting Ends Friday.

Montage of fan designs for a new StarTalk Radio t-shirt Published: 6 May 2015

There are just a couple of days left to vote in our StarTalk T-Shirt Fan Design Contest, so if you haven’t voted for your favorites yet, please head on over to our Facebook or Instagram pages to vote. But wait a minute, you ask. Wasn’t voting supposed to be over by now? Yes. We made […]

On StarTalk Radio this Sunday: Making Sense out of the Science of Interstellar

Screen capture of Gagantua, the black hole in the movie Interstellar. Credit: ©2014 Paramount All Rights Reserved Published: 2 May 2015

There’s so much theoretical science in the movie Interstellar that we’ve got not just one but two astrophysicists on the show this week to help us figure it out. Of course, there’s our host, your own personal astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium. We’ve also got Dr. Janna Levin, a theoretical cosmologist […]

Today: Fan Presale begins for StarTalk Live! at the Beacon Theatre, NYC on 9/21/15

Image for StarTalk Live! with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman Published: 29 April 2015

The last time StarTalk Live! went to the Beacon Theatre in NYC, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman tackled natural selection with an evolution all-star team of Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye, plus a comedy lineup of Jim Gaffigan and Maeve Higgins. Who will join Neil and Eugene on stage this September 21? That’s anybody’s […]

Sunday, Explore the Legacy of Star Trek with George Takei and Neil deGrasse Tyson

Selfie of George Takei and Neil deGrasse Tyson, taken by Neil in his office at the Hayden Planetarium. Published: 25 April 2015

Tomorrow night StarTalk Radio presents the podcast version of our premiere episode of StarTalk TV, “George Takei and the Legacy of Star Trek.” If you’ve already seen it on the National Geographic Channel, then you know what a great episode this is. But my guess is that most of you reading this have waited until […]

Will this week’s 2015 Lyrid Meteor Shower be a boom or a bust?

Sequential photos of Lyrid meteor, courtesy of NASA.gov. Published: 21 April 2015

This year, the Lyrids peak early Wednesday, 4/22 and Thursday, 4/23. Will they be a boom or a bust? The fact that the moon is an early setting waxing crescent should bode well, and if you’ve got clear skies, that’s even better. However, while you could start seeing Lyrids as early as 10 PM, the […]

Sunday, join Bill Nye for a tour of the Planetary Society’s LightSail Spacecraft

Photo of Bill Nye, Rex Ridenoure and Alex Diaz discussing LightSail test in August 20, 2014. Credit - The Planetary Society. Published: 18 April 2015

Bill Nye has been “the science guy” for so long that it’s easy to forget he was an engineer long before he was a science educator. That fact is quite apparent on Sunday’s Cosmic Queries: LightSail with Bill Nye. Listen to him describe, in loving detail and passionate prose, the materials, components, mechanisms and mission […]

StarTalk Updates: Patreon, StarTalk TV on Digital, T-Shirt Contest, StarTalk Live!

Collage from StarTalk Radio's Patreon fan support page. Published: 15 April 2015

It’s been busy here at StarTalk. From the impending launch of StarTalk TV (and pre-launch renewal announced earlier today!), to our upcoming StarTalk Live! performances, to SiriusXM Insight, to our fan support page on Patreon, to our fan-designed T-shirt Contest, we’ve been busy – and that’s not even counting our efforts on new podcasts. Oh, […]

Share Your Love of Space with the World this Week!

Logo for Yuri's Night, April 12, which celebrates the human exploration of space. Published: 8 April 2015

If you’re a StarTalk fan, it’s a safe bet that you’re “into space.” Needless to say you’re not alone, and this week, during Global Astronomy Month, there are two worldwide events that you might want to know about. Let’s start with the later event first. Yuri’s Night – April 12 Yuri’s Night is a global […]

Sunday: Explore the inner solar system from StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest 2015

Comic co-host Eugene Mirman and guest host Bill Nye. © 2015 Photo by Jakub Mosur. All rights reserved. Published: 4 April 2015

I didn’t get to see StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest 2015, which was recorded at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. But just reading the tweets from our guest live-tweeter, Heather Archuletta, I knew the show was going to be a blast. First of all, the show features not one, but two comedians from the […]

Announcing the StarTalkLive! Apollo Mission – Exclusive Fan Ticket Presale 3/31-4/3

Poster for StarTalk Live! at the Apollo Theater May 28, 2015 showing host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman. Published: 31 March 2015

The phrase “star-studded night at the Apollo” will have a new meaning after May 28th 2015, when astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, comedian Eugene Mirman and their special guests land in Harlem for the first ever performance of StarTalk Live! at the historic New York theater. We can’t tell you yet who the guests are going […]

Get “High on Nye” Sunday When Chuck Nice Grills The Science Guy

Photo of StarTalk Radio guest host Bill Nye the Science Guy and comic co-host Chuck Nice in studio. Published: 28 March 2015

Bill Nye has been showing up on StarTalk ever since our first season, when his “Bill Nye Minutes” were one of our most popular recurring segments. But it wasn’t until our host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, got busy filming Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, that Bill got his first shot as a guest host on the show, […]

The Problem of Light Pollution from a Different Perspective

A photo by Don Jensen clearly showing the glow from the Seattle Metro area seen from Mount Pilchuck. Published: 25 March 2015

With International Dark Sky Week coming up starting April 13, this week’s guest blog post is by Don Jensen, an astro-landscape time-lapse photographer based out of Seattle, WA who is using his camera to focus attention on the extent of light pollution. One of the driving forces inspiring Don to take on the journey of […]

Sunday: Explore the Future with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk

Photo of Elon Musk and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden with the Dragon capsule that made the first private resupply mission to the ISS, courtesy of NASA/Bill Ingalls via Wikimedia Commons Published: 21 March 2015

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the dangers of artificial intelligence. And it’s not coming from luddites who think the Internet is a series of tubes. Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk: each of them has publicly expressed their concerns over artificial super intelligence, and none of them could ever be considered technologically […]

StarTalk Live! in Boston: Fan Presale Tomorrow at 10 AM ET – Password and Link

Promotional artwork for StarTalk Live! inBoston with host Bill Nye, co-host Eugene Mirman and Rachel Dratch and other special guests.. Published: 18 March 2015

Oh, Boston. First you win the Super Bowl. Then, you steal our Social Media Assistant, Sarah, away from the warm and loving embrace of New York to your cold, snowy wilderness on the banks of the icy Charles river. And now you expect us to come all the way up there for another StarTalk Live! […]

Announcing StarTalk TV National Geographic Premiere Date and Episode Schedule

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson at the recording of the StarTalk TV show. Published: 17 March 2015

Press Release: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL’S LATE-NIGHT TALK SHOW STARTALK HOSTED BY NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON TO PREMIERE MONDAY, APRIL 20, AT 11 PM ET/10 PM CT President Jimmy Carter, Director Christopher Nolan, Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Author Ariana Huffington, Actor George Takei and Television Writer Norman Lear Named as Guests; Features Weekly Appearances […]

Get Cosmically Inspired this Sunday with Neil deGrasse Tyson and artist Peter Max

Peter Max - Different Drummer Published: 14 March 2015

This Sunday, we’re replaying an overlooked gem of an episode from our very first season, which has been available only as a digital download for a few years now. It’s called “A Universe of Inspiration” and it features Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with pop artist Peter Max. Recorded in the artist’s NYC studio, the two […]

Update from the Frontiers of Human Exploration: Solar Impulse 2 and Dawn

Image of Dawn's "official change of address" from NASA Published: 12 March 2015

This was a big week on the frontiers of human exploration. NASA’s Dawn arrived at Ceres in the asteroid belt on Friday, March 6, 2015, the first time that a human spacecraft has orbited a dwarf planet. But that’s not Dawn’s only accolade. It’s the first spacecraft to orbit two different extraterrestrial targets, having orbited […]

Sunday: Genetically Engineering Lactating Men and Better Baristas

This photo by David Andrako shows Bill Nye snapping a selfie backstage at the Beacon Theatre with Maeve Higgins, Jim Gaffigan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, RIchard Dawkins and Eugene Mirman Published: 7 March 2015

If we as a society can’t agree on whether it’s appropriate to genetically modify tomatoes to better survive the cold by introducing fish genes into their genome, how are we going to deal with bioengineering human beings? Is it moral to manipulate human genetics to breed people with desirable traits? What if we could engineer […]

Logic and Evolution

Photo of Leonard Nimoy as Spock from Star Trek The Original Series. Credit: © 2015 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published: 4 March 2015

  As everybody knows by now, Spock died last week. I know, I know, Spock didn’t die, it was the actor who played him, Leonard Nimoy. (Everyone knows that Spock died in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.) But to me, not to take anything away from the life of the man, he was […]

The Evolution of StarTalk Live!: Dawkins! Nye! Tyson!

Photo by David Andrako of cast of StarTalk Live! Evolution: Eugene Mirman Jim Gaffigan, Maeve Higgins, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson Published: 28 February 2015

From our beginnings in the back room at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY to a sell-out performance at the historic Beacon Theatre on Manhattan’s upper west side, StarTalk Live! has evolved into a unique experience where thousands of fans come to share an evening of science, comedy and popular culture. (Don’t worry, Brooklyn – […]

I Just Got To Watch A Sunset on Mars

Shown: a Screen capture from the NASA/JPL Mars Movie: I'm Dreaming of a Blue Sunset Published: 25 February 2015

I wasn’t actually on Mars, of course. But I did watch the video simulation NASA just released of a Martian sunset, created from images taken using the panoramic camera on the Opportunity Rover. You remember Opportunity. It was the second of two rovers that landed on Mars in January 2004. Opportunity landed on the red […]

From Warp Drives to Cloaking Devices: Star Trek Cosmic Queries Sunday

Screen capture from the movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock showing the USS Enterprise vs. a Klingon Bird of Prey. © 2015 CBS Studios Inc All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. Published: 21 February 2015

Star Trek warped into our public consciousness on September 8, 1966 when The Man Trap aired on NBC. That means for many of us, we’ve been talking about warp drives and transporter beams and phasers for most of our lives. Alien races like the Klingons and Romulans became more familiar to some of us than actual […]

Behind the Scenes at My First StarTalk Live!

Shown: Rick (@jetforme) tweeted this image of Heather R. Archuletta touching Bill Nye's bow tie, one of the 7 wonders of the geek world. Published: 17 February 2015

Today’s guest post is written by Heather R. Archuletta, who tweets @pillownaut and was kind enough to volunteer as our live tweeter at StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest 2015. Formerly with NASA Flight Simulations, Heather writes the “Pillow Astronaut” blog and recruits analogs for sim programs at Johnson Space Center. Here is her account of […]

Autonomous Space Planes and Uncrewed Rockets

Artist's view showing the ESA IXV mission, copyright ESA–J. Huart, 2014. Published: 10 February 2015

Never send a human to do a robot’s job. At least, not this week. Wednesday, the ESA will test their IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle), an autonomous space plane designed to leave Earth atop a Vega booster rocket, then conduct uncrewed missions in low Earth orbit including “space transportation, robotic servicing of space infrastructure and exploration.” […]

What’s this Sunday’s episode of StarTalk Radio all about?

NTSB image of wreckage of SpaceShipTwo. Published: 7 February 2015

The name says it all: Cosmic Queries: Rocket Science Is Hard.   Join host Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-host Chuck Nice, and special guest Bill Nye tomorrow night, February 8 at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and TuneIn. That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up! –Jeffrey Simons  

5 Months and 10 Days to Pluto!

Photo of Pluto and Charon by New Horizons spacecraft. Published: 4 February 2015

The unassuming image you’re looking at is Pluto and its moon Charon. It was taken by New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25. NASA released the images today,  which just happens to be the 109th birthday of Prof. Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered the dwarf planet in 1930. Some of his […]

This Sunday, Return to Water World with Neil deGrasse Tyson and StarTalk Live!

Elliot Severn took this photo of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Dr. Tess Russo and Neil deGrasse Tyson at StarTalk Live! at The Beacon Theater in NYC. Published: 31 January 2015

Like Part 1 last week, the unexpected moments are what make StarTalk Live! Water World (Part 2) so delightful. For instance, you can reasonably expect that you’ll hear Robert F. Kennedy Jr. talking about how water privatization has become a trillion-dollar industry and warning about “biostitutes” and the failure of democracy when policy is driven […]

How to Get Tickets to the Taping of StarTalk TV

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson at the recording of the StarTalk TV show. Published: 28 January 2015

From the moment it was first announced that StarTalk Radio would become a weekly, late-night TV show hosted by your own personal astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, we’ve been getting questions from fans about how they could be in the audience for the taping. And we haven’t had an answer for you until now. First of […]

Water, Water Everywhere… StarTalk Live! Gets Wet this Sunday

Photo of participants in StarTalk Live! Water World taken by Elliot Severn, showing Jason Sudeikis, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Neil deGrasse Tyson, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. Published: 24 January 2015

The last thing anybody expected to hear about at our first StarTalk Live! at The Beacon Theater in NYC was probably Kung Fu Nuns, or, as comedian Jason Sudeikis quickly replied, “Isn’t that where we get nunchuks?” But it turns out that the entire show was about as fluid as its subject, flowing from science […]

Live-Tweeting from LA and SF with a Little Help from Our Friends

Photo of StarTalk Social Media Team live-tweeting during StarTalk Live! at the Bell House. Published: 20 January 2015

You may not know it, but StarTalk does a lot with a very small staff. One reason we can do it is great fans who volunteer to help us out when we need it. We’ve had plenty of volunteers edit video and audio, write guest blogs, take pictures and more. You’ve gotten to know some […]

StarTalk Starts Off Season 6 Small: The Story of Life on Earth

David Attenborough_Frozen Planet_BBC Published: 17 January 2015

Chances are, you are familiar with Sir David Attenborough. If you’ve ever seen a BBC nature show, you’ve likely seen him. And heard his voice. Which is why the moment in our Season 6 premier when Sir David tells Neil deGrasse Tyson about “the most sensual reproductive sequence I’ve ever shot…” is so… unexpected. Never […]

StarTalk Live! Is Going to LA to Explore Mars

Image Credit: NASA Published: 14 January 2015

They say turnabout is fair play. So I guess if I were to say that I’m jealous of all our fans who will get to see StarTalk Live! in LA on January 22, I probably wouldn’t get much sympathy. After all, we constantly get emails and tweets and comments on Facebook from fans that wish […]

This Sunday, Get Pulled Back Into “Cosmic Queries: Gravity”

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Leighann Lord in a studio recording session for StarTalk Radio, taken by Jeffrey Simons. Published: 10 January 2015

You know that dramatic moment in science fiction when our heroes have flown too close to a star or a black hole, and they’re about to break free of the gravity but then they start getting pulled back in? This week’s episode of StarTalk Radio is kind of like that. We thought we’d be exploring […]

Big News: StarTalk Blasting Off for Sirius… and Late Night TV!

neil-degrasse-tyson-startalk-radio Published: 7 January 2015

Yesterday, we announced that StarTalk Radio, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, will now be on SiriusXM Insight, the new exclusive, groundbreaking news, information, and entertainment radio channel on SiriusXM. We’ll be on Channel 121, daily starting 1/12/15 at 5-6 pm ET. New episodes will air every Wednesday, with shows from the archives on the other […]

It’s all about the questions in Sunday’s Season 5 Time Capsule (Part 2)

Photo Credits (Clockwise from top left): NASA/JPL-Caltech; Smithsonian Institution; Doug Zubenel (TWAN) (courtesy of NASA APOD); Luc Viatour/www.Lucnix.be; CERN; Wikimedia Commons - aussiegall from Sydney, Australia. Published: 3 January 2015

We’re always telling you that we couldn’t do this show without you, but when it comes to the Cosmic Queries episodes that have made it into our Season 5 Time Capsule (Part 2), that’s doubly true. Just in case you’re not familiar with our Cosmic Queries episodes, they are episodes where we ask our audience […]