This simulation of a supermassive black hole shows how it distorts the starry background and captures light, producing a black hole silhouette.
This simulation of a supermassive black hole shows how it distorts the starry background and captures light, producing a black hole silhouette.

Cosmic Queries – Kitchen Sink Edition

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; background, ESA/Gaia/DPAC
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About This Episode

What are your burning questions about the universe? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer Patrons’ flaming-hot questions about the universe covering stars, black holes, gravity, philosophy… everything but the kitchen sink!

What is Neil’s favorite star? We dive into some of our galaxy’s most interesting stars and the mysterious phenomena around them, constellations, and whether the star of Bethlehem was a supernova. You’ll learn about ancient global astronomy through history. Shifting to our own solar system, find out if there is a mysterious ninth planet in our solar system beyond the light of our sun. 

Discover the difference between how gas giants and stars form. We explore more black holes and explain how Hawking radiation works. How could black holes eject particles if nothing can escape the event horizon? Does a black hole have a memory? We talk Einstein, matter, and antimatter. 

Going deeper and deeper, we answer the question: If energy and matter are equivalent, do modern theorists believe that free will exists? We break down subjectivity and the role of science within humanity. You’ll learn about neuroscience and the inception of thoughts in the brain. How does the subconscious mind work? We explore the idea of free will, whether or not we are in a simulation, and a quantum approach to predetermination. 

Could we use stars as an alchemy table to forge elements we want? What other sci-fi concepts do our Patrons have cooked up? You’ll learn why gravity is such a weird force. Is there another paradigm to talk about gravity? Are there other dimensions or dark matter that work to impact gravity? The more we learn the more we know about our own universe. But above all, we thank the programmer of our simulation for free will and yet another episode of StarTalk!

Thanks to our Patrons Sabrina Anderson, Adam Collins, Jason Pretzlaf, Victor Sanchez, Gino Arizmendi, Austin Douglas, Sara George, douglas robinson, Royal_ish, Anita Petty for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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