June 1, 2016 9:19 pm

This Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Natalie Starkey go chasing comets at StarTalk Live!

Photo of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by Rosetta on August 7 from 104 km distance


It’s a busy time in the world of StarTalk Live!

This Sunday, we’re doing our first StarTalk Live! in Washington DC, at AwesomeCon, with host Bill Nye, co-host Eugene Mirman, NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman, Astrobiologist and StarTalk All-Stars host Dr. David Grinspoon (aka Dr. FunkySpoon), and comedians Jo Firestone and Hari Kondabolu. Tickets are still available – your ticket to StarTalk Live! is included with a Sunday convention pass.

And we’re currently selling tickets for our upcoming StarTalk Live! at the Beacon Theater in NYC on September 25.

But before either of those dates, this Friday night’s podcast is StarTalk Live! at the Beacon (Part 1): Chasing Comets.

The evening was all about, as host Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “The solar system, comets and vagabonds – including Pluto.” We’ll get to Pluto next week, in Part 2: King of the Kuiper Belt.

This week, though, Neil and his guest scientist, cosmochemist Dr. Natalie Starkey, are all about comets, asteroids, and the formation of the solar system. And when it comes to comets, Dr. Starkey is an expert: she was a co-investigator for the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. She also worked on analyzing the data from the Stardust mission, which is the only mission so far to bring back samples from a comet.

Eugene Mirman’s guest comedians are Scott Adsit, returning for his third StarTalk Live! show, and Ilana Glazer of Broad City, making her first STL appearance. Scott was at our very first live show, and also was a guest for the STL: The Particle Party celebrating the discovery of the Higgs boson. .

In this week’s podcast, you’ll hear all about the incredible Rosetta mission, which involved launching a spacecraft from a moving platform (Earth), orbiting Earth 3 times and Mars once to get the gravity assist necessary to travel over 3.4 billion km to a spot in space where Comet 67P would be 10 years later. The long journey was worth it: we’ve already learned things about comets we didn’t know – the comet’s water isn’t the same water as we have here on Earth – and confirming something we suspected – that the comet carries the organic elements that are the precursors for life as we know it. You’ll also learn about exoplanets, the Stardust mission, the difference between comets asteroids, meteors and meteorites, and much, much more.

By the way, if Natalie Starkey’s name sounds familiar, that’s because we loved working with her so much, we’ve invited her back to the StarTalk universe as one of the hosts of our new podcast, StarTalk All-Stars, premiering on Tuesdays later this month. (Premier date still TBD.)

Please join us for StarTalk Live! at the Beacon (Part 1): Chasing Comets this Friday at 7 pm EDT on our website, as well as on iTunes Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, SoundCloud and now, on Google Play Music.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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