Cosmic Queries: Telescopes

Post Date: 20 November 2012

Listen now:

Season 3, Episode 20

Image Credit: NASA.

In this Cosmic Queries episode, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Colin Jost answer fan questions about telescopes. How large can telescopes be? Could we invent a telescope to observe gravity or dark energy? How would our sun look from a telescope near Deneb? Can amateur astronomers access big observatories or the Hubble? From Arecibo to Atacama, you’ll learn how radio and microwave telescopes work, and why we don’t get nuked making microwave popcorn. Find out why Neil is determined to save the James Webb Space Telescope by “kicking some congressional butt.” Finally, explore the future: a giant array of telescopes floating in space, held in position by laser telemetry, with a baseline wider than Earth’s diameter. Because, as Neil says, “When it comes to telescopes, size matters.”

Co-Host:
Colin Jost, comedian

Music:
Klaus Badelt- Pirates
Selections from “Two Steps to Hell”
Immediate Music – Rising Empire
X-Ray Dog – Here Comes the King
Two Steps from Hell – Heart Courage
Vangelis – Mythodea

  • Dionel A. Caban

    i live about 30 minutes aways from the Arecibo Observatory :)

    • Jeff

      Dionel, I (Jeff) have been to Arecibo, and it was an amazing sight in person. We had to drive through a rain forest to get there. Of course, that was nearly 20 years ago. I imagine the area has changed since then.

  • http://shervinasgari.blogspot.no Shervin

    The show is too short :-(
    I wish it was longer. 40 min with commercials is way too short

    • Jeff

      Shervin, we agree!

  • Ryan

    Neil, was the failure of the International Virtual Repository political or technical?

    Also, where can we get more information about those large-diameter telescopes that sync up via laser?

    Thanks! And thank you for your congressional battles.

  • Zach

    I just checked and the website colinjost.com has completely gone to waste! That’s too bad…

  • Zach

    Also, Dr. Tyson, you ought to check out Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope! It’s awesome and pretty much exactly what you were talking about.

  • Miles

    PLEASE GET RID OF EUGENE MIRMAN. HE IS NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

  • http://olsonb.com Larry Olson

    I learned a lot about telescopes thank you for the show.

    The crater telescope is most interesting and I would like to see it and visit it.

  • Dylan

    please get louis ck on the show as your comedian perspective!

  • Donna

    Eugene M. Is very funny.. I like him

  • Jerome

    I’m from Belgium, Europe, and i love this show! Greets! :D

  • http://holymemoli dusty

    Loved the epic soundtracks! (That is, in addition to the as-usual awesome dialog).
    I’m guessing it was either “two steps from hell” or “audio machine” or similar – keep it coming it perfect for this subject material!

  • Cooler Miles

    That’s because Miles has no personality. He was raised by rocks.

  • Igor Martinez

    So we would basically build Deep Space Nine.