Images collected with the 1.5-m Danish telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory of The Carina Nebula, a large bright nebula that surrounds several clusters of stars.
Images collected with the 1.5-m Danish telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory of The Carina Nebula, a large bright nebula that surrounds several clusters of stars.

Cosmic Queries – Smarty-Pants Trash Bin with Jordan Klepper

ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron., CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Video

About This Episode

What is string theory? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Jordan Klepper answer fan questions about the formation of the solar system, dark matter, and the expansion of spacetime. What would travelling at the speed of light look like? 

Is there a simple explanation for string theory? Discover how string theory joins the ideas of general relativity with quantum physics. Does general relativity have limits? How did Jupiter get to where it is in our solar system? Find out what Jupiter-like gas giants look like in other solar systems and the history of exoplanetary discovery. We break down how solar systems form and what “planetary migration” is. 

What are we talking about when we say the universe is expanding? We clarify the definition of our expanding universe and how to imagine it. Is the universe a rubber sheet or a raisin cake? What is dark matter? Is there a possibility of interacting with it? Neil tells us what he wants dark matter to be and what he thinks it probably is. We discuss the possibility of other families of particles and the interactivity between confirmed particles like neutrinos. Could gravity from another universe be leaking into ours? Jordan explores the gravitational muffintop of parallel universes.

Is it possible that the expansion of spacetime is an emergent property of matter itself? You’ll learn about emergence and how it impacts scientific observation. Is human consciousness an emergent property of increased brain complexity? What would we see while travelling at the speed of light? We explore blueshift, redshift, and what science fiction has to say about these visuals. Could we make dark matter vision goggles? Why do we think we know anything about the outer galaxy if we’re only looking back in time? All that and more on another Cosmic Queries Edition of StarTalk!

Thanks to our Patrons Manuel zamarripa jr, John D, HyperactiveJedi, Graham Hayward, Adam Caplan, Y. Koss, and Kristin S for supporting us this week.

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

In This Episode

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics