Madame Saturn: A Conversation with Carolyn Porco (Part 2)

Post Date: 6 July 2014

Listen now:

Season 5, Episode 25

The Day the Earth Smiled. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

The Day the Earth Smiled. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

Join us for the conclusion of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini Imaging Science team. You’ll hear how she and Carl Sagan joined forces to convince NASA to overrule JPL and let Voyager 1 take the famous Pale Blue Dot photo. You’ll also find out how much work went into setting up the inspirational The Day the Earth Smiled image showing Saturn and Earth taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Carolyn tells the story of meeting JJ Abrams after her famous TED Talk, and how it resulted in the iconic scene in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek where the Enterprise rises out of Titan’s atmosphere. She also tells Neil about her involvement in the production of Contact, including her influence on Jodi Foster’s character, Ellie Arroway. Finally, Carolyn makes a case for the possibility of life on Enceladus, while Neil tells co-host Chuck Nice why Jupiter’s moon Europa might also harbor life in its giant subsurface ocean.

Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini Imaging Science Team Leader, Director of CICLOPS, Space Science Institute. Connect with @carolynporco on Twitter, on Facebook, or on Tumblr. Visit the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS)

Chuck Nice, comedian

Pale Blue Dot” – Bliss n Eso
Saturn” – Stevie Wonder
Star Trek (2009) theme music
Theme for the movie Contact – Alan Silvestri
Saturn Return” – REM
Star Love” – Cheryl Lynn (disco version)
All the Rings ‘round Saturn” – All About Eve

  • Luci Winget

    I can’t wait to hear this !

  • Bennybenben

    hey Neil, what do you drink when you’re stargazing?

  • Ronnie

    Thank you Star Talk Radio! Love to listen to Neil Degrasse Tyson, Carolyn Porco, Amy Mainzer, Bill Nye and all the other guests that are on the show! I hope that you realize you have such a positive impact on peoples lives! I always tell my friends and family to listen in and learn something that those awful “reality” tv shows will never teach! Keep on talking nerdy…we hear you!!

    • startalkradio

      On behalf of the show and all involved, thanks, Ronnie.

  • David Schlom

    Always love to listen to Carolyn Porco. She’s also a huge fan of The Beatles BTW. Check out my show — “The Blue Dot Report,” not quite as fun as StarTalk but we do have great guests for mostly four minute segments that air during All Things Considered in Northern California on NPR.

    There are interviews there with Carolyn among other luminaries. Tried to get NdGT once but the timing didn’t work out. He’s one of my heroes! Cosmos exceeded my lofty expectations…My Sunday nights seem empty now.
    “I’m Dave Schlom. Reminding you that from deep space, we all live on a pale blue dot…”

  • David Schlom

    If you are a StarTalk fan in Northern California, be sure to check out the Lassen Volcanic National Park Dark Sky Event Aug. 1-3. Half the park is after dark!

  • Jax in Jamaica

    listening to the news on tv while listening to startalk – cant help but wonder what can the scientific community do to help the escalating conflict in the Middle East – How can the rest of us help them “to consider again that dot” Could this be our own man made comet? It breaks my heart how religion divides us and could eventually obliterate us.

    • startalkradio

      Nicely put, Jax.

  • Tiago

    “I was just a measly little post-doc” wow

  • Joel

    Thanks Star Talk. I am a huge fan of the show and loved watching all of the episodes of the Cosmos!

  • J.P. Osterman

    The amount of detail and insight into accomplishing this mission was fantastic.

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  • Rachel Schutt Hinsch

    I really enjoy listening to Star Talk Radio! Carolyn Porco is amazing and I truly admire her contributions to science and firey personality. :-)

  • debbie

    Carolyn Porco is my new idol cause being tactless and in your face are great qualities.