Season 4 Begins… On Mars

Post Date: 8 February 2013
Astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon and Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Talking science at StarTalk Live: Astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon and Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Photo Credit: © Stacey Severn.

Do you remember Dr. David Grinspoon, our co-host from our “Real Science with Bill Maher” episodes? Well, it turns out he’s not just @DrFunkySpoon, the Curator of Astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He’s also a co-investigator on the Radiation Assessment Detector, or RAD, one of the experiments on the Mars Science Laboratory, better known as the Mars Curiosity Rover.

And that made him the perfect science guest for the performance of StarTalk Live at The Bell House where astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Eugene Mirman celebrated the landing of Curiosity on Mars and the exploration of our solar system.

Now, as you know with all StarTalk Live shows, Neil brings a guest or two, and Eugene brings a guest or two. In this case, Eugene brought comedian Jim Gaffigan, the self-proclaimed Mr. Universe, who is, by his own words, “an expert on every thing in the Universe, probably the smartest person here right now.”

Eugene also brought Sarah Silverman, who brought her backpack, but left her notoriously obscene vocabulary in the green room. (I can hear your sighs of disappointment, but we do have kids listen to this show sometimes, and besides, even without the curses, Sarah is just plain hilarious.)

You’re in for a great night. You’ll find out how scientists fall in love… why Curiosity needed a nuclear power source… what an Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer does… what Mars has in common with Earth… what the word stratigraphy means… what gives Eugene Mirman joy… and the real origin of the giant face on Mars. It’s also the night Neil deGrasse Tyson invented the Martian Sunrise, a moment of creation you can actually watch right here:

It’s a great show, and a perfect way to kick off Season 4 of StarTalk Radio – and this is just Part One. In two Sundays we’ll have Part 2, where we journey out from Mars to the rest of our solar system. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. So stop by the website this Sunday at 7:00pm ET, or iTunes, or wherever you get your StarTalk Radio fix, and listen to Part 1 of StarTalk Live: Satisfying our Curiosity About Mars.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons