Neil deGrasse Tyson is no stranger to questions on space and the universe. The acclaimed American astrophysicist, however, spent his Sunday answering questions online from an unlikely source: Reddit users.
Tyson made himself available on Sunday to science enthusiasts on Reddit and told them to ask him anything.
Just began an AMA session on Reddit. For those who have no clue what that phrase means, continue on with your day, the acclaimed astrophysicist tweeted.
Tyson, 53, is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2006, he has hosted NOVA scienceNOW, an educational science television show on PBS. He also hosts a radio talk show, StarTalk Radio, and regularly appears on major news programs and talk shows as the nation's expert on space.
Reddit-savvy users should check out Tyson's Q&A on the site. We took a look at some of Tyson's most engaging and quirky questions, from Tyson's favorite sci-fi films to DIY science projects at home, and have posted them here.
Questions from Reddit Users to Neil deGrasse Tyson
MaterOfWomen: If you could add one course to a student's curriculum, what would it be?
neiltyson: Course title every university should offer: How to tell when someone else is full of shit
guitard00d123: What never fails to blow your mind in physics?
neiltyson: 1) The fact that an electron has no known size -- it's smaller than the smallest measurement we have ever made of anything. 2) That Quarks come only in pairs: If you try to separate two of them, the energy you sink into the system to accomplish this feat is exactly the energy to spontaneously create two more quarks -- one to partner with each of those you pulled apart. 3) That the space-time structure inside a rotating black hole does not preclude the existence of an entire other universe. MindBlown x 3
Redwater: What is your favorite short science fact you like to tell people to really make them think?
neiltyson: That our bodies' atoms are traceable to supernova stars that scattered their chemical enrichment across the cosmos, spawning the birth of star systems that contain planets, at least one of them containing life.
pneumo: What is your favorite sci-fi movie?
neiltyson: Three-way tie: The Matrix - The first one, of course. Contact. Deep Impact. And classical have: 2001 A Space Odyssey.
h3h: Can we inspire more kids to pursue space-related science and research? If so, how?
neiltyson: Kids are never the problem. They are born scientists. The problem is always the adults. The beat the curiosity out of the kids. They out-number kids. They vote. They wield resources. That's why my public focus is primarily adults.
Themantis5000: Do you agree with the idea (Carl Sagan was a proponent) that humans should prepare to, one day, forever leave the surly confines of Earth? In other words, should we plan to colonize other planets?
neiltyson: Because it would be fun. And because we will probably learn something new about ourselves and our own planet. But not as a place to escape from an incoming asteroid. For that I'd rather stay on Earth and deflect the damn thing.
imnottouchingyou: What is your favorite fact about the Universe?
neiltyson: That it will never end. That it's on a one-way trip of expansion. Something that many find to be philosophically unsettling. My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.
jesusismoney: What seemingly far-fetched aspect of science fiction do you think humans will reach first? (For example: Time Travel, lightsabers, invisibility, etc.)
neiltyson: None of it. Not even the costumes.
Mrrobinson: What are you most proud of at the Hayden Planetarium? What current exhibit should a visitor absolutely not miss?
neiltyson: Birthing a scientific research department of Astrophysics. You don't see them but it's a thriving department with faculty, postdocs, graduate students, research publications, etc. In this world, administrative victories are always the greatest.
Fluterrecorderdecool: What are some very interesting DIY science experiments that a person can do as hobby?
neiltyson: There's no substitute for Oobleck. Easy to concoct in the kitchen. Weeks of amazing experiments on the counter. Google it.
ooohhhhhhh: What is one of the most common misconceptions about space/time/astrophysics that you encounter, and how would you clear up that subject?
neiltyson: That the north star is the brightest in the night sky. I'd guess about 9 out of 10 people think this. But it does not require a grant from the National Science Foundation to learn the answer. The North Star is not even in the top 40 in the night sky. It's the 49th brightest star. Rather dull and boring by most measures.