March 10, 2016 8:56 pm

Friday, Neil Tyson answers your questions about alien megastructures, gravitational waves, and more…

Artists impression of gravitational waves. Credits: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL.

Shown: An artist’s impression of gravitational waves generated by binary neutron stars. Credits: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL

We live in very exciting times in terms of scientific discovery. Our telescopes are peering further into the universe than ever and our physicists are diving into the heart of matter itself, giving rise to new discoveries, and new mysteries.

When we asked you for Cosmic Queries, you asked about one subject more than any other: Alien Megastructures! But as mysterious as they are, they’re not the only subject you were curious about. This is an episode filled with the stuff of futuristic science fiction – except its entirely real, and it’s happening now.

Like the recent discovery of gravitational waves, which Neil explains with the help of guest astrophysicist Charles Liu.

Or the mystery of whether space is continuous or granular that is setting quantum physicists, who say it’s granular, against Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which requires space to be continuous.

Neil answers questions about black holes, wormholes and time travel, explains what a Dyson Sphere is, and tells co-host Eugene Mirman how you make a carbon nanotube and why they’re necessary if we’re going to build a space elevator to low Earth orbit.

You asked some easy questions, like why doesn’t the moon have a name like other celestial objects (turns out, it does, and Neil will tell it to you), what’s next for New Horizons, and whether water found on Mars can be used for rocket fuel.

You even asked some questions that stumped Neil, like the impact of universal expansion on the Higgs field. His uncharacteristic response is… something I’m not going to ruin for you now in a blog post.

But the scariest moment in the episode has to be when Neil admits to having just heard about a new concept that is “freaking” him out, namely, “that there are some places where the spacetime fabric itself melts.”

Even without Neil’s concern, the idea of melting spacetime is one that is guaranteed to give anyone with a cosmic perspective plenty of sleepless nights to come.

So won’t you please join us for “Cosmic Queries: New Mysteries of the Universe” this Friday, March 11 at 7pm ET on our website, iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Jeffrey Simons