Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A lot of nothing, Fermi's Paradox, Monty Python, and the Thirty Meter Telescope

by Salman Hameed

It is hard to link the four things in the title together - though not impossible. However, these are four brief conversations I had with Monte Belmonte of our fantastic radio station, The River (no seriously, check out their music playlist!). Here are the four segments from our weekly series, Mr. Universe (hey - Monte came up with the name...):

Fermi's Paradox: The question is: if there are aliens, where are they? Hampshire College astronomer, Dr. Salman Hameed, helps us look at the paradox from some sad, terrifying and even hopeful angles.

The Nothing: Astronomers have found the largest something and the largest something is essentially nothing.  Terrifying.

Not Okay-a on Mauna Kea: Should the extremely boringly named Thirty Meter Telescope be built on one of the best places on Earth to observe the cosmos, even if the mountain is sacred to Hawaiians and  Polynesians? (Monte’s answer: no)

Monty Python's "Galaxy Song": How scientifically accurate is the classic Monty Python ‘Galaxy Song’ and what did cosmologist Stephen Hawking do to correct their math for better or for worse? Hamphire College Astronomer Dr. Salman Hameed knows. He is Mr. Universe!

And here is the original Galaxy Song which is absolutely wonderful!


And here is the Stephen Hawking version:

While we are at it, here is a bonus discussion on space coffee:
Space coffee: Or espresso to be more specific.  Hampshire College Astronomer, Dr. Salman Hameed, on the extremely important gastronomic (and less so astronomic) development that brought espresso to space.  And watch the boringly beautiful mission that brought the astronauts their java. 

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