May 3, 2020 8:44 pm

Monday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Cosmic Conundrums

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about all the different cosmic conundrums that you’ve got on your mind. From killing black holes to extraterrestrial life in the oceans of our solar system to dark matter and dark energy – we cover it all.

Dust clouds associated with the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Monoceros, or Unicorn, constellation, in an image from the ESA and the PACS, SPIRE & HSC consortia, F. Motte (AIM Saclay, CEA/IRFU - CNRS/INSU - U.ParisDidedrot) for the HOBYS key programme.

Shown: The Rosetta Nebula stellar nursery approx. 5,000 light years from Earth. Image Credit: ESA and the PACS, SPIRE & HSC consortia, F. Motte (AIM Saclay, CEA/IRFU – CNRS/INSU – U.ParisDidedrot) for the HOBYS key programme.

If you could captain the USS Enterprise, where would you take it? Find out why Neil would take a tour of the “local” neighborhood. We dive into dark matter: what is it, how does it work, and how much do we really know about it? Neil helps us understand dark matter and why it should really be called dark gravity. You’ll learn why studying dark matter is partly a philosophical problem given that dark matter doesn’t interact electromagnetically.

Discover more about the Higgs boson, the Higgs field, and the functionality of the Large Hadron Collider. In order to give a simple explanation, Neil uses a very helpful metaphor that involves Chuck, Beyoncé, and a Hollywood party. Then, we explore how time functions the closer or further you are to the edge of the universe.

You’ll hear if there are any theoretical ways to destroy a black hole. The answer may surprise you. We ponder which development is more likely: extraterrestrial contact or traveling through dimensions. This leads Neil and Chuck on an exploration of how different dimensions would inform and interact with those who exist inside them. You’ll find out why, if we’re being observed by higher dimensions, we wouldn’t know it. And, why a higher dimension could “see” more than we can see of ourselves.

We debate whether we will ever find complex organisms in the liquid water masses of our solar system. Neil gives us a lesson in thermodynamics to help us understand what it takes for life to thrive. All that, plus, Neil gives us a lesson in Low Earth Orbit 101, taking us on a trip from the equator on up.

Please join us tomorrow for Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Conundrums at 3pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 3pm, too.

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

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