May 31, 2014 10:58 am

Sunday: More Space. More Science. More Bill Nye.

Photo of Bill Nye the Science Guy, who now guest hosts for Neil deGrasse Tyson on StarTalk Radio.

If you grew up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, you have a certain picture in your head. The science teacher we all wished we had, in a light blue lab coat with a funky bow tie, blowing your mind with science. (Even if you’re more the Mr. Wizard generation, you still know what I’m talking about.)

Bill wasn’t just an actor playing a role on TV with no science background. He was an actual aerospace mechanical engineer who worked at Boeing for years and developed a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor still in use on the Boeing 747. Later, he helped develop sundials used on the Mars Spirit and Opportunity Rovers.

But in this Sunday’s episode of StarTalk, Cosmic Queries: More Space and Science, it’s Bill’s latest job that permeates the show: CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest and most influential public space organization founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, among others.

The passion and excitement that pour out of Bill as he talks to comic co-host Chuck Nice about why we might really be Martians, or the value of planetary science and NASA is contagious. And when, talking about exploring Europa, Titan and Enceladus, he says, “We don’t know what we’ll discover, but we will definitely have an adventure.”

He gleefully ponders the impact of the slower rotation speeds on planets outside the Goldilocks Zone, explains how the Hubble can use gravitational lensing to see further into the Cosmos, discusses the effect of gravity on multi-planet systems, and tells a fan what New Horizons will do when it gets to Pluto.

Of course, lest we forget that he’s not just an eager explorer of the Cosmos, in this episode Bill also explains the Doppler effect (complete with vocal interpretation), illuminates the physics of photons when a fan asks about the difference between starlight and flashlight, decodes carbon dating, and examines the impact of technology on human evolution.

Oh, and if you’re an Ultraman fan, then you definitely want to listen to this Sunday’s podcast. (’Nuff said. Spoilers, sweety.)

Join us for Cosmic Queries: More Space and Science with Bill and Chuck this Sunday night, June 1, starting at 7:00 PM ET on our website and within mere moments on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and TuneIn.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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