“The most astounding fact”

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.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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8 Responses to “The most astounding fact”

  1. Inge says:

    Star guts.. you know i’m going to incorporate that in my vocabulary.. i love it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lilaine says:

    There’s something delightful about existing just because a star has blown her guts… πŸ˜‰
    I’m gonna keep laughing until the next universe in tribute to that! πŸ˜€
    Thanks Neil! πŸ™‚
    And, I did choose not to talk about another side effect of blowing guts… πŸ˜›

  3. Jbrandao says:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is great, certainly my current favorite science popularizer, and seems to fill a void left empty for many years after Carl Sagan’s death. The fact that the two actually met, and Sagan was really nice to him, just make them both even cooler.

    • kepler20f says:

      Kneel before Neil…!

      You might be interested in his podcast (StarTalk).

      On the Carl Sagan subject (who decisively changed my life when I was 16 – when “Cosmos” aired in Portugal), a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending here in Portland a James Randi lecture/performance here, who moved a lot of us to tears with his recounting of his friendship with Carl, interesting anecdotes and also the (quite evident) sadness he still feels about such an early death.

      If not for Carl Sagan, I don’t think my “heroes” right now would be Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Neil dG Tyson, Daniel Dennett, Brian Cox, Phil Plait, Carolyn Porco, Brian Greene, Bill Nye…

  4. Jbrandao says:

    By the way, let me also share this video with you:

    It’s from a well known youtube atheist who regularly uploads videos. It’s a bit long (around 15 minutes, but it’s wonderful)

  5. Ana_Γ± says:

    Like him, I feel big, too. Listening to his enthusiastic words makes me feel privileged. For me, this is a truly feel-good video, thank you!

  6. Kitty says:

    I’m in agreement with you and everyone else about the concept of star guts, just love it. I’m off to share this and tell the world I’m proud to be star guts…Yaay!

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