Science and Art, with Carolyn Porco – StarTalk All-Stars

“Coasting Above the Rings.” Courtesy of the CICLOPS.org Saturn Space Art Gallery. Credit: © 2014 Michael Carroll. Visit his website at: https://www.facebook.com/LivingAmongGiants.
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About This Episode

StarTalk All-Star Carolyn Porco is back in the hosting seat again, and this time, she’s brought her friend, musician and “Bad-ass Science Groupie” Sean Ono Lennon. Under the umbrella of answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the intersection of art and science, Carolyn, Sean and co-host Chuck Nice discuss topics ranging from whether it’s okay to use technology to create art, to the human impact on Earth during the Anthropocene Age, to the lack of civility and empathy on social media sites like Twitter. Join us as we explore the relationship between math and the diatonic scale discovered by Pythagoras, as well as the correlation between piano keys and the number of days in each month of our calendar. Sean explains why he thinks of “melody as a kind of audio geometry” and quotes James Sylvester, the Oxford mathematician who tutored Florence Nightingale and said, “Music is the mathematics of sense, and mathematics is the music of reason.” You’ll also hear how Carolyn made sure that the Cassini Imaging Team, which she leads, treated their photos of Saturn, Jupiter, and Enceladus more like art than those taken by Voyager. Plus, you’ll learn about the role that professional “space artists” play in visualizing the worlds we can’t yet “see” and in bringing new levels of understanding to the ones we can.

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  • Sean Lennon

    Correction: the Anthropocene is not necessarily an extinction epoch, just one in which the climate is effected by humans.

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