X-ray and Optical image of Galaxy NGC 4945, by NASA, ESO et al.
X-ray and Optical image of Galaxy NGC 4945, by NASA, ESO et al.

Cosmic Queries – Black Holes and Dark Energy Part II

Galaxy NGC 4945. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ degli Studi Roma Tre/A.Marinucci et al, Optical: ESO/VLT & NASA/STScI.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we bring you Part II of Cosmic Queries – Black Holes and Dark Energy. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted questions about what we know, and don’t know, about black holes and dark energy. 

You’ll hear why a black hole’s consumption of matter does not overpower the evaporation caused by Hawking radiation. Neil tells us what’s actually “evaporating” during Hawking radiation. He also tells us two remarkable facts about black holes that are sure to blow your mind. 

We discuss how a spy satellite accidently opened a new branch of astrophysics. Find out more about singularities. We investigate the singularity at the beginning of our universe and Neil explains when string theory needs to be brought to the table. Chuck shares how his son coined the word “ringularity.” We assess the possibility of black holes being used as an intergalactic highway system to connect one galaxy to the next. 

Find out more about “white holes.” Discover more about supermassive black holes. We explore the nature of photons: how they can be pulled into black holes if they’re massless and why they travel along the fabric of spacetime. Adventure back in time to Sir Arthur Eddington’s expedition to uncover how light bends around the sun. 

We ponder if dark energy and dark matter are “stuff” permeating from another universe into our own. Discover why light is trapped in our galaxy but gravity isn’t. We discuss the likelihood that intelligent life is more advanced than us. Lastly, Neil shares final thoughts on the delicate evolution of the tree of life.

Thanks to our Patrons Ricky Saull, Nisarg Joshi, Brett Witan, Paul Fullop, Ari Moudi for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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