I remember discovering Neil deGrasse Tyson way back when Natural History was still a good magazine — and we’re talking back when Stephen Jay Gould was still writing for it as well. What a pair they were! Gould, with his impenetrable, where’s-my-dictionary writing that nevertheless took our brains on fascinating tours of logic and thought, was a perfect counterpoint to deGrasse Tyson, whose friendly author’s voice laid out freakishly complex astrophysics concepts in simple and often amusing layperson terms. I hardly ever had to consult a dictionary while reading deGrasse Tyson; instead I’d be making unconscious comments along the lines of “Oh, wow…really? Cool!”
In this video, he’s answering a question submitted by a reader of TIME magazine: “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?” The response is pure deGrasse Tyson, right down to the reference to the “guts” of stars. Nobody else ever talks about star guts.
The video accompanying his answer is just gorgeous. Blow it up into HD if you can.