NASA illustration of our solar system.
NASA illustration of our solar system.

Cosmic Queries – A Molecular Mix

Image Credit: NASA.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk All-Stars, we welcome back astronomer and All-Stars host Dr. Emily Rice, PhD as she answers a molecular mix of fan-submitted Cosmic Queries alongside comic co-host Chuck Nice. To start, we find out what Emily learned today, a question we should be asking ourselves more often. You’ll hear Emily’s thoughts on the intersection of science and politics and if she believes scientists should engage in politics. Discover more about spacetime as Emily helps us visualize how it works and explains why it works no matter what the scale. Investigate why planets in our solar system all orbit on the same plane and why the shape of the Milky Way galaxy is a flat disc. You’ll learn about the science biopic Emily wants to see about legendary scientist Marie Curie. We discuss the United States education system and how we can keep pushing for higher scientific literacy. Then, Emily tells us about a couple of her favorite science-fiction technologies, including one that we’ve seen transition into real life. Find out what artists can do to help push science positive messaging into the world as Emily tells us about STARtorialist and Astronomy on Tap. You’ll also hear what an ordinary day looks like for an astrophysicist and how Emily redefined her definition of “doing science” which in turn expanded her definition of success. We ponder if there is or could be such a thing as too many scientists. Explore what might happen if an asteroid hit the Moon and why an asteroid entering the Earth’s atmosphere is more of a concern than an impact with the Earth’s surface. All that, plus, Emily shares with us how to make science cool and what she would choose if she had to select a visual representation of humanity and present it to aliens. Hint – “D’oh!”

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