August 30, 2014 10:06 am

Astrophysics 101 – Classes begin this Sunday at 7 PM EDT

Image of Epsilon Lyrae, the Double Double star system, taken by David Darling

Epsilon Lyrae, The Double Double. Photo Credit: David Darling, courtesy of

In this week’s episode of Cosmic Queries, host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host comedian Leighann Lord answer some of our fan’s most basic questions about astrophysics.

But in General Astrophysics 101, basic doesn’t mean simple.

For instance,

“How can you measure the weight of a planet when it’s the planet itself that provides the gravitational force by which you make the measurement?”

“If light has no mass, why does the gravity of a black hole affect it?”

“Why does everything in the universe spin?”

“Is there dark matter in my bedroom right now?”

“If the universe is expanding, does that mean that I am too?”

And while the answers may be complex, involving everything from double-double stars to the Hubble Constant to the theory of the Conservation of Angular Momentum to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, Neil breaks them down so anyone (even me) can understand them.

Which is good, because I don’t know about you, but these are the kind of questions I feel I should be able to answer, although, as I listened to Leighann ask Neil each one, I realized I’d be in trouble if my 9-year old daughter asked me some of them.

And I certainly couldn’t have explained angular momentum using the example of slurping a strand of spaghetti.

Until now.

Join us for Cosmic Queries: General Astrophysics 101 August 31 at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up.

–Jeffrey Simons


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