January 4, 2014 5:58 pm

Tomorrow Night! Season 4 Time Capsule Part 2: Cosmic Queries

Dark Matter Visualization courtesy of SDSC and NPACI Visualization Services.

Dark Matter Visualization courtesy of SDSC and NPACI Visualization Services.

A thirst for knowledge.

A need for understanding.

Or just a desire to have complicated concepts explained to us by someone who is able to make the complexities of our universe a little easier to comprehend.

Welcome to Cosmic Queries, the StarTalk Radio episodes built by you, for you, wherein your own personal astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, answers the questions you ask.

We’ve always collected questions on our website, but when we started specifically asking you for questions for an upcoming episode of Cosmic Queries, the floodgates opened. We’ll throw out a few topics for upcoming shows on Twitter, Facebook and Google +, and you’ll come back with hundreds of questions.

Some are surprising, some are insightful, and some are even silly, but together, they add up to some of our most enjoyable episodes of the year… and some of our most listened to. Three out of the Top Five most listened to episodes this year were Cosmic Queries.

Our producers narrow down the hundreds of questions you ask to a few dozen of their favorites, and then our comic co-hosts pick the best out of those to ask Neil on the show.

He answers them off the cuff, without ever having seen them… which in itself can lead to a few surprises, like those rare occasions when Neil doesn’t know something, and we get to listen to him figure out the answer on the fly – like he does with the question about lightning farms in this episode.

The Season 4 Time Capsule Part 2: Cosmic Queries really is your show. Not only were the questions asked by you, but you voted for these 5 episodes as your favorite Cosmic Queries episodes of the year:

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Dark Mysteries of the Universe

Answers at the Speed of Light

Time-Keeping

Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics

In tomorrow night’s episode, you’ll hear a collection of thought-provoking questions about about dark matter, black holes, light, time, relativity, physics and the very fabric of our universe, asked by comic co-hosts Leighann Lord and Chuck Nice. You’ll even hear a few questions answered by Laurie Garrett, a virus expert and science journalist who was our first ever guest on an episode of Cosmic Queries (Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics).

I had a teacher who once taught me that you can judge how smart someone is by the quality of their questions. Which can only lead me to the conclusion that we have a pretty bright audience indeed.

Bravo, people, Bravo.

The Season 4 Time Capsule Part 2: Cosmic Queries will be available Sunday, January 5th at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons