Neil deGrasse Tyson

All Photos 18 hours ago
Been wishing on a star lately and your wishes haven’t come true? Maybe you’ve been wishing on a planet — Jupiter. At its brightest in six decades. And it’s up all night. Hard to miss. Just keep looking up.
While everybody is arguing & fighting over all manner of terrestrial issues, @NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Mission (DART) slams a space probe into an asteroid’s moonlet today. Consider it practice, deflecting killer asteroids that might head our way.
Both Earth & Jupiter (as do all planets) have oval orbits around the Sun. Every now and then, Earth is farthest from the Sun while passing Jupiter when it’s closest to the Sun. That’s what’s going on next week, accounting for Jupiter’s extra brightness in the night sky.
Sept 23, 2022 This coming week, Earth passes closer to Jupiter than in six decades. Rising at sunset & setting at sunrise, look for it overnight — the brightest "star" in the sky. Jupiter, at its closest, exerts a force of gravity on Earth 5x higher than when at its farthest
In my research on the multiverse, I found a version of myself, waving back to me.
9:04pm ET -- September 22, 2022 Happy Equinox to all residents of Planet Earth. In the N. Hemisphere, summer ends -- the longest of the four seasons: checking in at 93 days, 15 hours. Over that time, Earth orbits farther from the Sun, traveling more slowly than average.
Turns out, even the hyper-literate, golden Dog-Gods on their home planet are easily distracted.
Dogs have always enjoyed my books. But try as I might, whatever I write will never be as interesting as a passing squirrel.
In my own voice. An excerpt from the “Life & Death” chapter of Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization. Released today. [Video: 9 min]
The time has come for those of us who write non-fiction to rise up and adopt the word “faction” so that we’re no longer forced to live in the negation of another genre.
Mathematically, most people are not “Suckers.” Worldwide, about four people are born every second. If a sucker is born every minute (as legend declares) then only one in 240 people is a sucker. Just sayin’.
Do you like big numbers? [Video: 6min]
Is it just me, or has autocorrect gotten more aggressive lately? The rampant insertion of properly spelled WRONG words. I’d rather you criticized my clumsy typing of words you still recognize than think I can’t contours a sentence.
If interested, Barnes & Noble has just offered for sale a limited edition of autographed pre-order copies of Starry Messenger. Yes, I personally signed each one. With a fancy-pants fountain pen, in purple ink — my favorite color.…
Geeky thing to do tonight: Locate the Harvest Moon on the sky relative to any pattern of nearby stars. Go inside for 1-hour and do chores you should've done earlier. Come back out: the Moon moved east by its own diameter relative to those stars. That’s the Moon orbiting Earth.
When you admire the Full Moon late this evening, look nearby on the sky and notice a very bright star. If you wished on it, and your wishes did not come true, it’s because that “star” is planet Jupiter. After the Sun & Moon, the brightest object in the sky this month.
Earth turning within the oceanic tidal bugle caused by the Moon causes water to slosh on our coastlines. We experience this as the “tide coming in" and the "tide going out.” This, along with other factors such as earthquakes and melting glaciers, changes Earth’s rotation rate.
Harvest Moon continues this evening, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. Not that you asked, but the Moon is spiraling away from Earth at about 1.5in (4cm) per year. In response, Earth’s rotation is slowing down, requiring occasional leap seconds -- twenty-seven since 1972.
While you admire the Harvest Moon this evening, don’t search for the non-existent “Man in the moon.” Instead, identify Wilma Flintstone, in profile, clearly visible in the lunar terrain.
As you admire the rising Full Moon over the eastern horizon, if you think it's huge, you're a victim of the “Moon-on-Horizon illusion," where the Moon among hills or trees or buildings looks much larger than it actually is. One reason for science — to bypass sensory delusions.
Just to be clear, Full Moons impart no more (or less) gravity or tidal forces on Earth than any other phase. The very high (and very low) tides we see during Full Moons come from the Sun’s tidal forces adding directly to the Moon’s.
Full Moon tonight — the closest one to the September 22 equinox. Northern Hemisphere cultures traditionally calls this one the “Harvest Moon.” Full Moons rise at sunset & set at sunrise — the only phase to do so — allowing farmers to pick crops throughout the night.
If the multiverse is real, perhaps in one of the universes the stars gaze back at us.
The world **always** needs leaders who see beyond national borders. Mikhail Gorbachev RIP (1931-2022)
A science literacy quiz, brought to you by mathematician @JohnAllenPaulos. The future of civilization may depend on it.…
Leo from Virginia recommends Starry Messenger to fellow dogs concerned for the future of civilization. He also thinks you should pick up a copy for your pet human. #InternationalDogDay
Leo from Virginia just read about how space exploration, giving access to unlimited resources, could bring an end to all wars on Earth waged over limited resources. Reflecting on this fact gives him hope of the future of humans. #InternationalDogDay
In the chapter Meatarians & Vegetarians, Leo from Virginia was intrigued that some humans eat only plants. #InternationalDogDay
Reading his pre-release copy of Starry Messenger, Leo from Virginia was especially interested in the paragraph on Dog life-expectancy, in the final chapter titled “Life & Death”. #InternationalDogDay
If global warming continues: “Damn, it’s 'Hot as Earth' down here!” …said residents of Hell.
Objective truths apply to all people, places, and things, as well as all animals, vegetables, and minerals. Some of these truths apply across all of space and time. They are true even when you don’t believe in them. [Chapter: "Truth & Beauty"]…
Objective truths of science are not founded in belief systems. They are not established by the authority of leaders or the power of persuasion. Nor are they learned from repetition or gleaned from magical thinking. [Starry Messenger: "Truth & Beauty"]
Visiting aliens will have none of our biases. None of our preferences. None of our preconceived notions. They’ll surely notice that the very concept of truth on Earth is fraught with conflicting ideologies, in desperate need of objectivity. [Starry Messenger: "Truth & Beauty"]
Meat production in the US is staggeringly efficient. For example, across all fifty states we hatch, raise, kill, distribute, and eat a million chickens — PER HOUR. [From "Meatarians & Vegetarians" chapter of Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization]
If the multiverse is real, I wonder if a universe exists where dreams are real and reality is an illusion.
Was recently asked. "Is Pineapple is a legit topping for Pizza?" As a pizza-eating, native New Yorker, I replied, "Is Pepperoni a legit topping for a Pina Colada?" And the conversation ended there.
FAST POLL RESULTS: One in five of you are either indifferent to the recently Tweeted book quotes, or would rather see something else. I respect that — in proportion to the proportion. So I’ll cut back a bit on the quotes, and continue to post other random stuff.
Mysteries of Twitter algorithms — many people saw my Twitter poll in their feed, but saw none of the dozens of quotes I posted.
Fast Poll... I posted dozens of quotes this past week from the soon-to-be-released book: Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization.
Chapter: LIFE & DEATH "An epitaph worthy of a tombstone comes from the nineteenth century educator Horace Mann: 'I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.' "…
Chapter: BODY & MIND "Cosmic perspectives tend to humble our human hubris, and is fully justified for doing so. But questions remain: Are we smart enough to answer the cosmic questions we’ve posed? Are we smart enough to even know what questions to ask?"…
Chapter Quote: GENDER & IDENTITY "Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 after a trial that cited her persistent cross-dressing as one of her heretical offenses. Clearly, the Creator of the universe cares about your choice of wardrobe."…
Chapter: EARTH & MOON If light from a full Moon converts your genetic profile into a wild canine, consider that moonlight is simply reflected sunlight. So if the Moon turns you into a werewolf at night, then so should the Sun in the daytime.…
Chapter: EARTH & MOON "Our goal was to explore the Moon, but while doing so, we looked back over our shoulders and discovered Earth for the first time. After the Earthrise photo made its rounds, people changed. Earth-the-planet mattered as never before."…
Quotes: EARTH & MOON "Earth in the lunar sky is nearly 14 times larger than the Moon in Earth’s sky. Earth is also about 2.5 times shinier than the Moon. So full Earth viewed from the Moon is about 35 times brighter than full Moon viewed from Earth."…
Neutral calorie choices… You can eat a cupcake with buttercream icing, then jog for 45 minutes. Or you could simply do neither.
Chapter: MEATARIANS & VEGETARIANS "Mushrooms occupy their own kingdom, splitting with animals later than our common ancestor split from green plants. We & mushrooms are therefore more genetically alike than either we or mushrooms are to green plants."…
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