Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Death by Black Hole

The universe is a really, REALLY hostile place to be on (as far as we know) the only planet hosting intelligent life.

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19 comments on “Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Death by Black Hole

  1. Pingback: Science, Astronomy and Death… in a funny way. » Blog Archive » not so silent (e)

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  4. Obviously, he is experiencing the tidal stresses of a not inconsiderable amount of egoboo… but he handles it very gracefully. Made me laugh several times, and shudder once.

  5. I need an answer to a question that has been bugging this non scientist for years. Can Neil deGrasse Tyson, or any other astrophysicist, explain to me how a distant galaxy looks to the naked eye compared to a distant sun? I mean, how can you tell which you are looking at without a strong telescope?

    Please answer. This question is driving me crazy. Thank you.

  6. Gary Reich:
    I feel no shame in admitting I have absolutely no idea if you CAN tell the difference unless you really REALLY know what you’re looking for by way of relative position in the sky to other known objects and so on.

    I’m sure someone, somewhere, out there can tell you the answer to this. Please, if you do find out, share it with the rest of us.

    Great question!

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  9. In response to your question about how to tell the difference between types of celestial bodies with the naked eye; you can’t. Galaxies were not even known to exist *to astronomers* until 1923 when Edwin Hubble used a newly completed 100 inch telescope at the Mt. Wilson observatory to observe what were thought to be nebulae (nebulas?), or smears of light in the night sky. Some smears did turn out to be nebulas (clouds of gas illuminated by other stars), but some turned out to be ‘new’ galaxies.

    Even with that telescope, Hubble only determined that these objects were other galaxies because he found a way to measure the speed at which they were moving away from us, and derived an expression that gave him the distance to those objects, based on their speed. That told him that they were too far away to be a part of the Milky Way – our own galaxy.

    Some of my friends who are professional astronomers have eyes that are good enough to see the smearing around the Great Nebula in Orion, but as for distant galaxies, without a scope, their just dots.

    Hope this helps,
    Michael Naray
    BSc. Hons. (Physics) UNSW

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  12. I am working on my book report and I lost my sticky note with my favorite quotes on it. We are supposed to include 2 quotes from our book and I was wondering if anybody remembers in good (funny) quotes. I would prefer them to be funny, because for some reason people just don’t seem to want to read an astrophysics book for fun. I don’t know why, I love this book!!

  13. My stand-out quote from DeGrasse Tyson isn’t really related to astrophysics, but you might shoe-horn it in somehow. When he was asked about intelligent design, he remarked that the human body was a great argument against intelligent design, because “who would put an entertainment complex right next-door to a sewage treatment works?” I liked that one a lot, because it doesn’t go down very well with the anti-evolution, “magic sky daddy did it” brigade.

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