Sunday, September 6, 2015

Related imageBy pointing out the stars this man has the world thinking more about the earth and how important it is to all of us. 46 years ago men landed on the moon and space travel was the most exciting thing to talk about. Now the United States doesn’t even have a space program anymore. NASA isn’t launching astronauts anymore in America. Our only real advocate for the skies is our very own Bronx, N.Y. born Neil deGrasse Tyson who is one of the few Astro Physicists in the world.  How did a black kid from the Bronx who was always told to pursue sports get a degree from Harvard in Physics and a Doctorate from Columbia in Astrophysics? But he did it and has been an inspiration to all ever since.

He has succeeded Carl Sagan as the countries’ most captivating science communicator.  He sells out live speaking engagements and is popular on TV and Twitter. He reminds us that science is true weather or not you believe in it. He reminds us that we should stop war and look at the universe and realize that we are just a tiny pale blue planet, a speck in the real world image. Hopefully his banter really does make people stop the foolishness and go to work preserving our little planet that is the only place we can live comfortably.  He has 2.5 million people on his Twitter feed. He is proud to be an educator and scientist. He loves the photo taken from the moon in 2008 of the blue and white planet called earth. Till then we only had the globe on our desk to really know what the earth looked like from afar.  
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Soon thereafter earth day was founded, leaded gas was banned and DDT and other pesticides were banned from products.  It is amazing that space talk has given people a new appreciation for the earth,   we   have explored the moon and found the earth.  He is the head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York and is married to a white woman and has two children. There are so few astrophysicists that there are one in a million people with that occupation.   He believes that we are all formed from the energy in stardust. The molecules that form our bodies are traceable to the elements in   the centers of stars.  He became most widely known for hosting the TV series called Cosmos.

Related imageFans line the blocks to watch him record his radio show called Star Talk. He points out things like how important the Sun is that keeps the planets orbiting but it also ripens grapes on the vine like it has nothing else to do. Neil has a talent to be able to explain the unexplainable in easy terms that also make us feel warm and fuzzy and not fearful of the unknown. He makes us want to take care of what is known and near to us better. He is truly a preacher for the earth. Star Talk is also now a weekly cable TV show. He has not been in the movies yet but he is critical of the so called accurate famous movie the Titanic. They got everything right except for the star constellations that would have been present the night the famous boat went down. He got the producers to later change the night sky in the movie to be right.

When he was just 9 years old and he visited the Planetarium, he made the decision to dedicate his life to exploring the skies. He fought societal stereotypes and became an educated scientist. He is 56 years old now and still is filled with questions and an appreciation for what the sky holds. We should all keep looking up.

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