Jupiter's moon, Europa
Jupiter's moon, Europa

Cosmic Queries: Tour of the Solar System

Jupiter’s moon, Europa, seen from the Galileo spacecraft Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA; reprocessed by Ted Stryk

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About This Episode

In our second Cosmic Queries episode, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Eugene Mirman answer fan questions about our solar system. How can life can exist on Jupiter’s moon Europa even though it’s outside the “Goldilocks Zone” and how could we drill through the ice to explore its oceans? What would happen if a black hole entered the solar system? What are the problems with exploring Pluto? You’ll hear Neil’s solution for solving NASA’s underfunding, why we’re focused on the Moon and Mars, and the reason his favorite planet is Saturn. On a lighter note, discover why some people are obsessed with ancient aliens, how quickly a pepperoni pizza would cook on Venus, and how Eugene Mirman would use a crew of specially trained cats for space exploration.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: Tour of the Solar System.


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  • Tim

    I love these! I wish they were uploaded more often.

  • Drew Mcdowell

    Absolutely ove this duo, I think they’re my favorite. Also, I agree With Dr Tyson, I think Europa has an amazing chance for life.

  • Clayknoll

    Hey!! Great program as usual It feels like you guys try to shove too much in such little time, I would be ecstatic if these changed to 2 hour shows!! Somuch entertainment is experienced from these short discussions keep it going!

    • Kathryn

      Excellent show gentlemen. As an aspiring physicist, I appreciate the work Neil deGrasse Tyson does to educate the public on these fascinating aspects of the universe. Its nice to see people asking questions and getting answers. Not to mention, Eugene’s comments keep the show light and more often than not get a few laughs out of me. Keep up the good work!

  • Steven

    This was incredibly interesting. I bloody well love science, especially when it’s the space kind. You rock my world, Dr. Tyson.

    Also, I went kinda nuts that a Lights song was included; whoever made that happen has my eternal, platonic love.

    • Jeff

      We’ll pass your love on to the appropriate individual, Steven.

  • Connie Cuellar

    You make science and the cosmos interesting and fun. I enjoy listening to your show.

  • FKV

    If I had any say, we’d fund NASA to the tune of at least $200B a year and have planned missions to place an orbital satellite around every planet in the Solar System except Mercury, both Ceres and Vespa, and then work on getting a satellite array on the dark side of the moon.

  • Daniel Montuoro

    thanks for reading my question. Yes I am a greedy person. I want to orbit Pluto!!!!

  • Andrew

    Thanks for doing these guys, its a privilege to listen to you.

  • Miles

    Please get rid of Eugene. He’s annoying as f**k.

  • Thank you very much for doing this Dr.Tyson. Everyday, going to campus and coming home, I try and hear bits and pieces of your show ‘Star Talk’. It gives me immense pleasure to hear your enthusiasm about the space exploration and love for Astrophysics. It is really hard for graduate students like me to keep on pursuing the realistic as well some unrealistic dreams and still manage to keep ourselves motivated towards it. You play a big role in keeping us on track. I sincerely thank you for that.
    An earnest Question – I have been to Hayden Planetarium twice (everytime I have been in NY ) but I could not meet you, Dr.Tyson. I do not live in NYC but I would love to meet you someday. I have tried to catch you at many events but I could not. What do I have to do to meet you ? 🙁
    I dont hope to get an answer but still got to get it out of my system.

  • Eugene is the best co-host ever, and I agree Clayknoll the shows need to be 2 hours, or more….

  • Brent

    Fantastic show, as always! I wish it was released more often, but if it takes this long between shows in order to keep this level of quality, then I’ll accept that. Eugene Mirman is still my favorite cohost! I hope StarTalk continues to bring him along.

  • Greg

    I enjoy listening to the show. Is there anyway to get another scientist on the show as well. I understand Eugene is there for the comedic element and he’s funny. But the guy slows down the pace because he never picks up scientifically where Tyson leaves off.
    It would be great to hear Tyson not have to spell it out to Eugene sometimes. That’s all.

  • Richard Mark

    Neil and Eugene are truly a great duo. Love the show and Tyson is awesome beyond belief !!

  • Mike

    Rohit- Get yourself a ticket to next year’s American Museum of Natural History Gala. I believe it starts at $1500 a ticket and a lesson with him was an auction item this year so I imagine he would be in attendance. I think it’s limited to 500 guests which will make your chances of getting to chat a bit better.

  • Graham

    I would love to hear a show on the possibility of building the necessary infrastructure to expand our ability to explore space, such as a fuel production facility on the moon and an orbital refueling station. I know that NASA is severely underfunded. So wouldn’t their limited resources be better spent on building this infrastructure to facilitate private exploration of space? Wouldn’t the construction of this infrastructure possibly inspire politicians to see the monetary value of space as well, hopefully providing more funding? The science that NASA produces is amazing and awe inspiring, but wouldn’t they benefit from some tangible assets in Space to recapture the wonder and drive of the Space Race?

  • Bort

    Thank you for creating such an amazing show. The knowledge Neil shares, mixed with the timely comedy of Eugene, makes for an entertainment experience comparable to no other.

  • Stephen

    I love Neil DeGrasse Tyson!

  • Sarangan

    Hi Neil and the team, I love your show. I live in Toronto, Canada. I download your podcast everyweek from itunes.
    I just found out about World Science Festival 2013. But it was too late. I missed it. I will definitely come next year for the festival. I wish they do one here in Toronto.
    You are an inspiration for me. Keep up the awesome work.



  • Paul

    The Cosmic Queries editions of Startalk are easily my favorite editions of the show. I get to listen to them at work and share the knowledge I gain with my coworkers.

  • Get Well Roman

    Ugh… Was really happy when i heard a Titan question.. Was extremely disappointed when it got grouped with Jupiter’s moons…

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