Cosmic Queries: A Taste of Space, with Matt O’Dowd

A stunning look at Galaxy UGC 12951, an incredibly massive galaxy which sits roughly 400 million light years away. Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA.
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About This Episode

Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Eugene Mirman sit down for a special edition of Cosmic Queries with their guest Matt O’Dowd, astrophysicist and host of PBS Space Time. You’ll discover if Neil and Matt think physics imposes limitations on what we might find in the universe, from planets made of diamond to dinosaurs the size of buildings. Find out more about the accuracy of mapping our galaxy and why it’s important not to confuse an objective universe with a subjective universe. Ponder whether it’s possible for the fabric of space to be ripped apart. Matt and Neil debate the concept of an “ancestor simulation” and the logistics of existing within a universe that’s really just a simulation. You’ll learn about dark matter: tools that could help us “see” it, why “dark matter” is a misnomer, and the possibilities of dark matter planets. Neil and Matt also explain to Eugene why vacuum decay is frightening on many levels and how the Higgs field works. Also up for discussion: whether any time passed before the Big Bang, the atmosphere of Venus, and a few favorite theories about the multiverse!

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: A Taste of Space, with Matt O’Dowd

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