Extended Classic: Science and Art, with Carolyn Porco

“Coasting Above the Rings.” Courtesy of the CICLOPS.org Saturn Space Art Gallery. Credit: © 2014 Michael Carroll. Visit his website at: https://www.facebook.com/LivingAmongGiants.
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About This Episode

This episode is now extended with 13 minutes of Carolyn and Sean answering more fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. Together with Chuck they discuss music for astronauts, the search for life on Mars and Enceladus, OSIRIS-REx, Saturn, the Andromeda galaxy, the shape of our solar system, and more! 

StarTalk All-Star Carolyn Porco is back in the hosting seat again, and this time, she’s brought her friend, musician and “Bad-ass Science Groupie” Sean Ono Lennon. Under the umbrella of answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the intersection of art and science, Carolyn, Sean and co-host Chuck Nice discuss topics ranging from whether it’s okay to use technology to create art, to the human impact on Earth during the Anthropocene Age, to the lack of civility and empathy on social media sites like Twitter. Join us as we explore the relationship between math and the diatonic scale discovered by Pythagoras, and the correlation between piano keys and the number of days in each month of our calendar. Sean explains why he thinks of “melody as a kind of audio geometry” and quotes James Sylvester, the Oxford mathematician who tutored Florence Nightingale and said, “Music is the mathematics of sense, and mathematics is the music of reason.” You’ll also hear how Carolyn made sure that the Cassini Imaging Team, which she leads, treated their photos of Saturn, Jupiter, and Enceladus more like art than those taken by Voyager, and you’ll learn about the role that professional “space artists” play in visualizing the worlds we can’t yet “see” and in bringing new levels of understanding to the ones we can.

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