August 25, 2016 7:50 pm

Friday, Neil Tyson and Chuck Nice Answer More of Your Cosmic Queries

Image of Europa. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Europa, as imaged by Galileo spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute.

As Neil reminds us at the beginning of this week’s show, he would rather do our standard interview format shows than our Cosmic Queries episodes, even though he knows our fans love them.

That’s because, he says, he wants to inspire people to learn and find information for themselves, not just give them direct answers.

But then we’d never get to hear off the cuff comments like this one, in answer to Alex’s question about whether people will land on Europa in his lifespan. He and co-host Chuck Nice were talking about finding life in Europa’s subsurface ocean, and Neil says “Water and Life go together, hand in hand, here on Earth. I’ve said this before, there’s life every place on Earth where there’s liquid water, even the Dead Sea…  Now why is it called the Dead Sea? Because there are no macroscopic fishes swimming around. But at the time that they named it the Dead Sea, you know what they didn’t have? A microscope…So they’re defining their world by what their senses tell them, when in fact, what science is all about is extending your senses and creating new ways of detection that your biological form can’t even approximate. And then you can deduce the nature of the world.”

My senses – and your love of our Cosmic Queries episodes – tell me that this is one area where we all disagree with our own personal astrophysicist.

Where else can we go to learn about gaps in the periodic table, the cosmic ballet of the Earth and the Moon, how NASA made LASIK safer and cheaper, and whether a stable black hole could exist inside a star, all in a single podcast? Let alone, find out where Neil got his most famous vest, whether the Ship of the Imagination from COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey could ever be possible, or hear about the wrestling move Neil always wanted to invent called the “Double Tidal Lock.”

So please join us this Friday, August 26 at 7pm EDT for Cosmic Queries: The Random Edition, on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, and right here on our website.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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