November 16, 2017 7:41 pm

Friday, Bill Nye and Chuck Nice Answer Your Questions about Defending the Earth

Grab your defense weapons, report to your battle stations and prepare to defend Earth until your last dying breath! Actually, no cosmic danger is upon us at the moment so it might be easier if you sit back, relax and tune in.

This week on StarTalk Radio, Bill Nye and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on planetary defense.

Artist's depiction of asteroid hitting Earth

Artist’s concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact with Earth. An impact with a 500-km-diameter asteroid would effectively sterilize the planet. Image Credit: NASA (Artist: Don Davis).

If you’re worried about an asteroid strike, Bill and Chuck have you covered. You’ll hear about the policies in place if a killer asteroid or comet strike were headed our way. One idea you’ll hear about is using ground-based lasers to hit an asteroid. I don’t know if those plans account for the panic and chaos of the general population but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Would it be best for the government not to tell the public if a killer asteroid strike was imminent? It would keep the worry and pandemonium at bay, however, with the advancements in technology and the rising popularity of amateur science and astronomy, I don’t know how long the secret could be kept.

If policies and ground lasers don’t fit your style, fear not. You’ll also hear about using sunlight to change an asteroid’s movements, using the gravity of other objects, and even using asteroids to destroy other asteroids. This all may seem a little sci-fi but each idea has its own merits that are worth hearing.

However, it is universally agreed upon that sending Bruce Willis and a hodgepodge group of oil drillers to destroy an asteroid, as seen in Armageddon, would probably just makes things worse.

Are you ready to defend your planet? Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries: Defending Our Planet, with Bill Nye at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too. And remember that you can also listen to next week’s StarTalk Radio episode one week early on TuneIn, at

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

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