July 14, 2016 7:50 pm

Expect the Unexpected Friday when Alan Stern and Neil Tyson “Unveil Pluto”


Photo of Sputnik Planum on Pluto, taken by New Horizons. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI.

If there is one single unifying theme about Friday’s episode, it is this: what we are finding out about Pluto as a result of the New Horizons mission is utterly unexpected.

To help us understand all these new discoveries about everybody’s favorite dwarf planet and Kuiper Belt object, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and his co-host Chuck Nice have two science guests on this week’s show. His main interview is with Dr. Alan Stern, the Principal Investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission. In studio, we’ve got astrobiologist and StarTalk All-Stars host Dr. David Grinspoon, who just happens to be writing a book with Alan Stern called Chasing New Horizons that will be published in 2017. (By the way, StarTalk All-Stars will premiere on Tuesday, July 26th at 7 pm EDT.)

Getting back to this week’s show, here are just a few of the new discoveries you’ll hear about:

  • Pluto is geologically active.
  • Pluto has an atmosphere.
  • Pluto has canyons and glaciers.
  • Pluto has 1,000 foot high methane crystals that run for hundreds of kilometers.
  • Sputnik Planum is an ice field the area the size of Texas without a single crater.
  • Pluto has 5 moons.
  • Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, has a canyon system that dwarfs our Grand Canyon.

But even with all of those surprising discoveries and more, there’s another reason to listen to this week’s podcast: to hear Neil clarify his position on the status of Pluto.

What he says is not what you may think he’s going to say.

And that may be the most unexpected thing of all about Friday’s episode.

Please join us Friday, July 15th at 7pm EDT for Unveiling Pluto with Alan Stern and Neil deGrasse Tyson on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, and right here on our website.

That’s if tor now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more