Cosmic Queries: Galactic Grab Bag

Shown: 1E 0657-56, the Bullet Cluster, used to search for the presence of antimatter leftover from very early universe. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/M.Markevitch et al. Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.

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About This Episode

First time comic co-host Iliza Shlesinger reaches into our Galactic Grab Bag to ask host Neil deGrasse Tyson questions from our fans about everything from black holes and the speed of light to Neil’s favorite type of music. You’ll learn whether space “smells” and why it’s impossible to remain completely still, even at absolute zero. Neil explains what antimatter is, how we can use lasers to power lightsail spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in 15 years, and what the most dangerous aspect of faster-than-light travel would be. Find out what pulsars, quasars, magnetars, neutron stars, white dwarfs, and black holes have in common – and what Neil would write on our Sun’s tombstone. Explore whether SETI is asking for trouble, or if the real danger comes from old episodes of The Honeymooners. You’ll also hear about nuclear weapons testing, bouncing on the moon, peeing on Pluto, Neil’s porn name, intelligent dinosaurs, and how the honeymoon got its name.

Correction: It was inaccurately stated in this episode that “we have never tested a nuclear bomb in space.” We should have added, “…since the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) of 1963. Before that treaty, the US had tested numerous nuclear bombs in space, as did the USSR.”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: Galactic Grab Bag.

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