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Dr. Chris Impey, Sunday, 4-15-12 April 15, 2012

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Dr. Chris Impey, Sunday, 4-15-12


Guest:  Dr. Chris Impey.  Topics:  We discuss Dr. Impey’s new book, “How It Began: A time-Traveler’s Guide To The Universe” along with astronomy, physics, and cosmology topics. We also discussed space policy and the future of human spaceflight plus science missions. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Dr. Chris Impey back to the program to discuss his new book.  Remember, if you buy the book from Amazon using the following URL, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/How-It-Began-Time-Travelers-Universe/dp/0393080021/ref=onegiantlea20.  For the Kindle version, use www.amazon.com/How-It-Began-Time-Travelers-ebook/dp/B005LW5J30/ref=onegiantlea20.  During the first half of the program, Dr. Impey talked about the book’s structure which is a bit different from other books addressing similar topics.  For example, the further outward in the universe you go via reading the book, the more backward in time you go which is why the book is a time-traveler’s guidebook to the universe.  Dr. Impey explains this to us and the going back in time is with us for the entire Space Show discussion.  Our first stop was our Moon and our guest had much to say about it, including its origins, why and how it orbits Earth at about 240,000 miles, and more.  We also learned what Earth would probably be like without the Moon.  As we went into deeper space after leaving the Moon, we talked about the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) and finding exoplanets plus searching for exomoons.  A listener asked about the delay encountered with supernova 1987A and our guest explained this to us.  I also asked our guest about his statement on page 19 at the bottom about time and Apollo becoming a “distant cultural memory.”  This turned into a lively discussion you don’t want to miss.  We then talked about human spaceflight (HSF) with Dr. Impey suggesting that due to the high cost of HSF and the constant improvements with robotics, we might very well see advanced robotic missions over the coming years rather than human missions which may prove unaffordable.  Don’t miss this conversation, it may very well be an accurate forecast for the future for HSF and robotic missions.

In the second half of our program, we moved out into the universe and talked about the Big Bang, First Light, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  We also talked about large Earth-based telescopes, Hubble, and looking back close to 13 billion years with JWST while the universe is about 13.7 billions years old.  We talked about why one cannot see the origins of the Big Bang with optical telescopes, but what we can “see” with microwaves.  A listener asked about the Cosmological Principle and another asked about human time travel.  This brought up the topic of black holes.  Questions came up about string theory and the Multiverse, and then John called in to discuss both dark energy and dark matter which turned out to be another fascinating discussion led by Dr. Impey.  Later, we went back to discussing HSF and we learned about the potential for nanobot probes for interstellar missions.  Fleets of such probes acting in a sort of relay fashion might just be real someday.  Near the end of the program, Dr. Impey discussed geopolitics as a driver for space exploration and said more about the early time after the Big Bang for the first 100 million years or so.

Please post your questions/comments on The Space Show blog URL above.


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