Storyblock’s photo of a sparkler in a hand.
Storyblock’s photo of a sparkler in a hand.

Cosmic Queries – New Year

Photo Credit: Storyblocks.
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About This Episode

Happy 2021! On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are looking at the year ahead, reminiscing on the year past, and answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. 

Before we get into questions, Neil and Chuck chat about the turbulent year that was 2020. We explore other turbulent times in history including 1968 and World War II. Neil tells us why he thinks NASA saved 1968 with Apollo 8. We look back on 2020’s total solar eclipse and The Great Conjunction. Neil explains why humanity’s handling of COVID-19 was a testing ground for an actual alien invasion. 

Then, we dive into some questions! Can a light particle travel through space unhindered? Does it travel forever? You’ll find out why, in our universe, the answer is no, but, in an alternate universe that’s static, the answer is yes. Discover more about the speed of light. What if the speed of light was different? Neil tells us why, if the speed of light was different, everything would change. 

You’ll hear the advantages and disadvantages of living on or near a gas giant. We explore Jupiter’s moons Europa and Io. Could we live on these moons? Could we live on Jupiter or Saturn? All that, plus, take a peak behind-the-scenes when a fan asks Neil how StarTalk originally started and how we ended up where we are today. 

Thanks to our Patrons Cristina Magistrali, Toren Wallengren, Eric Huffman, Z. Reese Downing, Sondra Ballegeer, Chris Ziegenhagel, Matthew H Cooper, Jonathan R. Brown, Yakov Goldberg, and Michael Blevins 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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