A portion of ESA and NASA's Hubble Deep Field Image. NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and the Hubble Legacy Field team.
A portion of ESA and NASA's Hubble Deep Field Image. NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and the Hubble Legacy Field team.

Cosmic Queries – The Deep

The Hubble Legacy Field image includes observations taken by several Hubble deep-field surveys, including the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest view of the universe. Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and the Hubble Legacy Field team.
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A portion of ESA and NASA's Hubble Deep Field Image. NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth and D. Magee (University of California, Santa Cruz), K. Whitaker (University of Connecticut), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), P. Oesch (University of Geneva), and the Hubble Legacy Field team.

About This Episode

Why are we here? Who are we? What is the meaning of life? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on a range of topics that stem from the deepest thoughts, ideas, and feelings we share about our place in the universe. 

What boggles your mind? The expansion of the universe? The study of black holes? Neil explains why he’s boggled by research being done in the field of neuroscience. We ponder if the human brain will ever fully figure out the human mind. We also ponder if the universe has complexities that the human mind will never comprehend. You’ll learn about the minute differences between human and chimpanzee DNA and what that could mean for humans in comparison to something that could have higher intelligence than us.

We debate how long humanity will last. We investigate the consequences of humans creating an intelligence greater than our own. You’ll hear why Neil has confidence humanity will last given the collective nature of our intelligence. We ask, “If the universe is under no obligation to make sense to us, why study it in the first place?” Neil tells us why our five senses limit us from fully grasping certain elements and constructs of the universe – and how science picks up the slack. 

We talk about the aging process and the idea of living forever. Then, we dive into the big question: what is the meaning of life? Neil shares his thoughts on how he finds meaning in his own life. You’ll learn why, whenever you look out into the universe, you’re looking at the past. 

Discover more about the vacuum of space. We also discuss what should be the priority, or priorities, in space exploration. Lastly, you’ll learn about higher dimensions and if they’re bleeding into our own universe. All that, plus, find out more about the shape of space itself. 

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us:

Andrew Olguin, Jay Eilers, Dr. Janet L. Walsh, Roy Hill-Percival, Jose Clark

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

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