August 4, 2016 8:29 pm

Our StarTalk Live! Celebration of the Discovery of Gravitational Waves Concludes Tomorrow

Illustration of the gravitational waves caused by the merger of two black holes. Credit: LIGO/T. Pyle.

Illustration of 2 black holes merging, sending out gravitational waves. Credit: LIGO/T. Pyle.

Now that we’ve found gravitational waves, what’s next? Can they tell us about black holes, neutron stars, supernovas, and the nature of our universe itself? And what about LIGO? Can we improve it even further, so it can detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime stretching all the way back to the Big Bang?

These are but a few of the questions that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugene Mirman, cosmologist Janna Levin, LIGO astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, and comedian Michael Showalter grapple with on tomorrow’s conclusion of our show recorded live at the Count Basie Theatre, StarTalk Live! LIGO and the Black Hole Blues (Part 2). They also cover universal expansion, the death of our sun, the inescapable collision of our own Milky Way galaxy with the Andromeda galaxy, and even quantum physics.

As always with StarTalk Live shows, it is the unexpected moments that are often the most memorable, and tomorrow’s podcast is no exception.

At one point in the episode, Neil is discussing the fact that as we look out into space, we are looking back into time: “It’s a profound fact…it’s like, the timeline of the universe is being laid bare in front of us in every instant of every day. And the spooky part would be the day the signature of the Big Bang disappears, because that would mean our horizon has washed over the last bastion of matter forming in this universe, and it goes into oblivion, and cosmology as we know it would end.”

After which Michael Showalter asked Neil, “And then what? What is there then?”

And Neil answered, “I have no idea.”

Please join us for StarTalk Live! LIGO and the Black Hole Blues (Part 2) at 7 pm EDT this Friday, August 5, 2016 on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, and right here on our website.

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


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