A Hubble Telescope Photo of the Gum 29 cluster and surrounding areas. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI) and the Westerlund 2 Science Team.
A Hubble Telescope Photo of the Gum 29 cluster and surrounding areas. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI) and the Westerlund 2 Science Team.

Cosmic Queries – Science to Know

The Gum 29 cluster and surrounding areas. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI) and the Westerlund 2 Science Team.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re bringing you a special edition of Cosmic Queries. Recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answered fan-submitted Cosmic Queries in a live event to help celebrate achieving one million subscribers on StarTalk’s YouTube channel. As a result, we ended up with a fantastic event full of great questions and answers. 

We start with a topic that everyone loves: Mars. If a separate human colony is established on Mars, would they be able to trade Martian goods with humans on Earth? Neil tells us why the colony might have to be inventive with the materials found on Mars in order to find anything worth trading. We explore mining the asteroid belt for precious metals widely used on Earth. Then, we expand outwards and explore why most galaxies are spiral galaxies.

Neil shares his thoughts on the recent news that scientists might have discovered evidence of a parallel universe. We investigate how our universe can be roughly 92 billion years across but only 14 billion years old. Find out why the Milky Way Galaxy and Andromeda Galaxy are still on a collision course with each other even though the universe is expanding. You’ll learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope and what it will study once it’s in orbit.

We explore the idea of using mirrors in space to view the history of the Earth. Neil enlightens us on “The Big Rip” and how it will dismantle the universe as we know it. We also explore whether a 4th dimension could be holding together the fabric of space. Neil tells us if it’s possible for humans to make a wormhole. Lastly, you’ll hear why you can never actually observe something happening in the present. All that, plus, Neil reflects on the possibility of life on other planets.

Thanks to our Patrons Chris Goshorn, Russell Konicki, Pat Simmons, Trinity Goodwill, Chris Davis, Mike Jordan, Michelle Danic, and Sylvia Mangold for supporting us this week.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, https://inuit.com/.

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