Artist’s conception depicting Earth and Proxima b. Credit: PHL at UPR Arecibo, NASA EPIC Team.
Artist’s conception depicting Earth and Proxima b. Credit: PHL at UPR Arecibo, NASA EPIC Team.

Exoplanets Mashup

Shown: Artist’s conception showing Earth and Proxima b. Credit: PHL at UPR Arecibo, NASA EPIC Team.

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About This Episode

Join the StarTalk All-Stars as we investigate exoplanets in this mashup episode. To start, SETI Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and astronomer Jason T. Wright explore Proxima b, our “neighboring” exoplanet, including how long it would take to get there and what makes it special. They also explore Breakthrough Starshot and the unique information about star KIC 8462852, or as Seth calls it, “Bob.” After that, join cosmochemist Natalie Starkey, Chuck, and planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton as they investigate the requirements for a planet to exist in the Goldilocks zone, the likelihood of life and possibilities of liquid water on other planets in the universe, and the formation of primordial ice in space. You’ll then hear astrobiologist David Grinspoon and Chuck answer a question from Daniel Peluso’s 8th grade class about what makes Earth unique to foster life, and the benefits of exploring Mars, a place that was once vibrant and lush. Lastly, astrophysicist Emily Rice, Chuck, and astronomy professor David Kipping talk about TRAPPIST-1: the system’s M dwarf star, the snow line and possibility of an asteroid belt, what planets would look like from the surface of others, and using radio signals to detect intelligent life.

In This Episode

  • Host

    Seth Shostak

    Seth Shostak
    All-Stars Host, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute
  • Host

    Natalie Starkey

    Natalie Starkey, Ph.D.
    All-Stars Host, Cosmochemist
  • Host

    David Grinspoon

    David Grinspoon
    All-Stars Host, Astrobiologist; Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Host

    Emily Rice

    Emily Rice
    All-Stars Host, Astrophysicist, co-founder of STARtorialist and Astronomy on Tap
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
    Comedian
  • Guest

    Jason T. Wright

    Jason T. Wright
    Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State, member of the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds
  • Guest

    Lindy Elkins-Tanton

    Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Ph.D.
    Planetary Scientist, Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University
  • Guest

    Daniel Peluso

    Daniel Peluso
    8th Grade Science Teacher, formerly at Arroyo Vista Charter School
  • Guest

    David Kipping

    David Kipping
    Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University

Music in This Episode

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Music in This Episode