Cosmic Queries Potpourri

Credit: Jeffrey Simons.
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About This Episode

It’s time for another episode of Cosmic Queries. This week, we’ve got an eclectic mix of questions submitted by our fans on social media, selected by co-host Chuck Nice, and answered by your own personal astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. You’ll learn why the Great Attractor isn’t such a big deal anymore and what made Comet ISON fizzle. Find out how we’re searching for gravity waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime predicted by Einstein – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). Neil explains why pressure differentials cause “the bends” (decompression sickness) and what wouldn’t happen if you moved between space ships without a space suit like in the movies Sunshine and Event Horizon. Explore the differences between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, why the Sun’s gravity is strong enough to hold Jupiter but not enough to suck the Earth into its fiery embrace. Also, Neil and Chuck try to decide whose voice is deeper, and Neil shares his youthful superhero fantasy and his feelings towards “middle aged man bellies.”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries Potpourri.



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