"The Day the Earth Smiled" - a photo of the planet Saturn, with Earth in the very distant background, taken by Cassini. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.
"The Day the Earth Smiled" - a photo of the planet Saturn, with Earth in the very distant background, taken by Cassini. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

Extended Classic: Madame Saturn – A Conversation with Carolyn Porco (Part 2)

The Day the Earth Smiled. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
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"The Day the Earth Smiled" - a photo of the planet Saturn, with Earth in the very distant background, taken by Cassini. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.

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About This Episode

Now extended with 12 extra minutes of new Cosmic Queries with Neil, Chuck and Bill Nye!

Join us for the conclusion of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini Imaging Science team. You’ll hear how she and Carl Sagan joined forces to convince NASA to overrule JPL and let Voyager 1 take the famous Pale Blue Dot photo. You’ll also find out how much work went into setting up the inspirational The Day the Earth Smiled image showing Saturn and Earth taken by the Cassini spacecraft. Carolyn tells the story of meeting JJ Abrams after her famous TED Talk, and how it resulted in the iconic scene in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek where the Enterprise rises out of Titan’s atmosphere. She also tells Neil about her involvement in the production of Contact, including her influence on Jodi Foster’s character, Ellie Arroway. Finally, Carolyn makes a case for the possibility of life on Enceladus, while Neil tells co-host Chuck Nice why Jupiter’s moon Europa might also harbor life in its giant subsurface ocean.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Extended Classic: Madame Saturn – A Conversation with Carolyn Porco (Part 2).

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