Planetary system around the Sun-like star HD 10180
Planetary system around the Sun-like star HD 10180

Cosmic Queries: The Sun and other Stars

This artist’s impression shows the planetary system around the Sun-like star HD 10180. This system is similar to our Solar System in terms of number of planets and the presence of a regular pattern in the sizes of the orbits. Credit: ESO / L. Calçada
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Planetary system around the Sun-like star HD 10180

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About This Episode

The Sun is the star of the show as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan questions in this solar edition of Cosmic Queries. Learn how a gas cloud condensed to form our Sun, and how we can keep it from expanding and burning out. Discover why solar systems and galaxies are disk shaped and orbit in the same direction on the same plane, as well as how solar systems form in the intergalactic medium, how multiple star systems like the Alpha Centauri system can exist, and the impact of dueling stellar gravity on planetary orbits. Find out what Immanuel Kant’s Nebular Hypothesis is, what electron degeneracy pressure does, how neutron stars form, whether dust clouds around stars cause electrical storms, and if the Sun will burn out before we collide with the Andromeda galaxy. It’s an episode filled with rogue stars, thermonuclear fusion, emotionally conflicted planets, pigeons and Mexican food.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here:  Cosmic Queries: The Sun and other Stars.

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