September 3, 2018 9:20 pm

Tuesday, Astrophysicist Emily Rice and Co-Host Chuck Nice Answer a Molecular Mix of Cosmic Queries

Sometimes you must stick to the things that have withstood the test of time. For us, that’s Cosmic Query episodes. What would the StarTalk Podcast Network be without Cosmic Queries? Well, it wouldn’t be what we know it as today.

On this week’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars, astrophysicist Emily Rice and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on a molecular mix of topics that include the fabric of spacetime, asteroids hitting the Moon and Earth, the intersection of science and politics, and a lot more.

NASA illustration of our solar system.

Image Credit: NASA.

To start, Emily gets asked a great question: “What did you learn today?” It’s a simple question but an important one that we should be striving to ask everyone around us. (If you’re asking me (Ian) what I learned today, I will tell you that I learned Google Chrome turned 10 years old today, Sept. 1 – who knew!)

After that, we dive into deep space. Emily helps us understand and visualize what spacetime is and how it works. We also discuss why all the planets in our solar system are orbiting on the same plane. You’ll learn why the Milky Way galaxy is in the shape of a flat disc. However, as Emily says, if you understand pizza, you’ll understand this. You’ll find out why an asteroid’s entrance into our atmosphere is a bigger concern than its impact with Earth’s surface.

Next, you’ll hear which science biopic Emily would like to see get made and who she would cast as the lead actress. Then, we discuss the current state of our education system, scientific literacy, and the intersection of politics and science. Should scientists be political? Emily’s answer might surprise you.

You’ll also hear what the “ordinary” day is like for an astrophysicist and Emily tells us what her definition of success looks like and how it has changed. We also discuss if you can ever have too many scientists. You’ll also learn how to tackle the problem of science being “uncool” – if you think it still is. All that, plus, Emily tells us how we can get adults more interested in science, she tells us her favorite science fiction technology, and you’ll find out what Emily’s visual representation of humans would be if she had to present one to aliens. Here’s a hint: “D’oh!”

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries – A Molecular Mix at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen