February 27, 2016 1:26 pm

Breaking News? Hints, Teasers and Spoilers About StarTalk’s Biggest News Since #StarTalkTV

StarTalk Radio Breaking News and Cosmic Queries

First of all, right up front, I’m going to tell you that I’m not allowed to tell you our big announcement, which will likely happen on Monday night.

Second, I just know that some of you are going to jump to conclusions when you read what I am allowed to tell you, though, and there’s probably nothing I can do to stop you.

So, what exactly is going on?

Do you remember 2 years ago, when our host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, was off filming COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey? We brought in a group of all-star scientists and science educators to help us fill the gaps when Neil was unavailable. The first of our pinch-hitters was none other than Bill Nye the Science Guy, who has gone on to be Neil’s regular guest host, and who has become a fan favorite, especially when it comes to our Cosmic Queries episodes. We also brought in planetary biologist Dr. David Grinspoon, aka Dr. Funkyspoon, and astronomer Dr. Amy Mainzer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs.

You guys were great, both when we asked you for Cosmic Queries for Bill, David and Amy, and then, as fans, accepting them all as guest hosts and loving their episodes.

Okay, now comes the tricky part.

Fast forward to the present day.

We need you to give us Cosmic Queries for guest hosts Dr. David Grinspoon and Dr. Natalie Starkey, who “started life as a geologist and now got sucked into space!” Both are leading science educators, and both will be guest hosting multiple upcoming episodes for us. (To refresh your memory about Dr. Funkyspoon, he’s Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and in 2012/2013, was the first ever Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.

And no, I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY WE NEED THEM TO GUEST HOST. (But the Cosmic Queries you gave us for Bill Nye last week were part of the same surprise!)

Now, we have a lot of Cosmic Queries episodes to gather questions for: 5, in fact. And we need them by late Sunday night, because we’ll be in the studio all day Monday and Tuesday recording them as part of our big surprise, which again, I can’t tell you about. But we need you to come through for us in a big way, in a short time, so please, pull out all the stops and ask lots and lots of questions.

As always, we’ll be asking you to provide your Cosmic Queries on our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus social media channels, plus our Patreon Patrons will get to ask questions as well.

But, for those of you who feel more comfortable asking your questions here, in the comments of this post, I will give you the topics and hashtags now. Please remember to include where you’re from in your reply, and the appropriate hashtag. And please, keep your Cosmic Queries on topic.

IMPORTANT: Deadline for all these questions is 11:00pm ET Sunday, Feb. 28th.

Here are the five episode topics, along with their guest hosts, co-hosts and science guests:


Moon Formation: A Catastrophic History

Ask your questions about how our Moon formed and other Earth impacts for guest host Dr. Natalie Starkey, guest planetary physicist Prof. Sarah Stewart and co-host Maeve Higgins. Include #CQMoon with your question.


Water in the Solar System: A Glass of Comet Water, Anyone?

Ask your questions about where our water comes from, for guest host Dr. Natalie Starkey Natalie, guest planetary scientist Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton and co-host Chuck Nice. Include #CQSpaceWater with your question.


Rosetta Mission: A Happily Ever After Comet Story

Ask your questions about the Rosetta Mission and Comet 67P for guest host Dr. Natalie Starkey, guest astrophysicist and project scientist for Rosetta, Matt Taylor, and co-host Chuck Nice. Include #CQRosetta with your question.


Virtual Universe

Ask your questions about experiencing the universe through virtual reality, with guest host Dr. FunkySpoon, guest Carter Emmart, the Director of Astrovisualization at the Hayden Planetarium, and co-host Chuck Nice. Include #CQVirtualU with your question.


Calling All Aliens?

Ask your questions about whether we should be sending messages to extraterrestrials, with guest host Dr. FunkySpoon, guest sci-fi author David Brin, and co-host Chuck Nice. Include #CQCallingET with your question.


Unfortunately, that’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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