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Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13 May 21, 2013

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Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13


Guests:  Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke.  Topics:  Touring our Solar System with our two guests.   Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.  We welcomed Kimberly (Kim) Arcand and Megan Watzke to the program to discuss their new book, “Your Ticket To the Universe: A Guide To Exploring The Cosmos” published by Smithsonian Books.  Visit their website for more information our guests and this amazing book, www.yourtickettotheuniverse.com/Index/Home.html.  Also check out this YouTube video for the book, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KamC0Plro.  If you order the book using this Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show:  www.amazon.com/Your-Ticket-Universe-Exploring-Cosmos/dp/1588343758/ref=onegiantlea20.

During the first part of our 90 minute discussion, our guests explained why they wrote this book and how they came up with its unique structure, format & famous person quote at the beginning of each chapter.  We talked about the pictures used in the book and a few of the items that stood out to me including “Taking an Alien to a Baseball Game” which helps us understand visible light along with all of the other types of light.  A listener with a copy of the book emailed in to ask about the use of the terms light second, light minutes, and light hours when describing objects in our Solar System.  Their discussion of Pluto as a dwarf planet came up in addition to my talking about the book as an excellent teaching tool for school libraries, students of all ages, even adults.  Our authors talked about art and I noticed the inclusion of the famous painting Starry Night in the book.  Don’t miss what Kim and Megan had to say about why Starry Night was used in their book and the overall subject of art, space science, aesthetics, and the night sky abundant with stars.  As our segment was ending, we talked about Mars analogs here on Earth such as Svalbard and Rio Tinto among the many Earth Mars analogs referenced in this book, plus the book’s astrobiology focus.

In our second segment, I asked our guests if space exploration was worth it and why.  Don’t miss what each had to say in answering the question.  We talked about the NASA budget, what is accomplished with the budget, and general population misunderstandings about the actual amount of the NASA budget.  I mentioned a TV documentary on the Dutch East Indies Company and the necessity of human exploration.  I asked our guests what they thought our world would look like had we sent robots out instead of humans in those very early and risky exploration missions.  A listener asked about the description of the book as both a coffee table book and a science book, and we talked about that hybrid description.  Near the end of our discussion, I asked each guest for their favorite place mentioned in the book where they would want to hang out.  You might be surprised by their choices.  Both Kim and Megan signed off with excellent closing comments that you will want to hear and remember.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can contact both guests through their website, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through me.

Dr. Peter Shaver, Monday, 1-23-12 January 23, 2012

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Dr. Peter Shaver, Monday, 1-23-12


Guest:  Dr. Peter Shaver.  Topics:  Dr. Shaver’s boo, “Cosmic Heritage,” the universe, cosmology, consciousness, cognition.  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. Peter Shaver to the show to discuss his new book, “Cosmic Heritage: Evolution from the Big Bang to Conscious Life.  Dr. Shaver started our discussion by telling us what motivated him to write this book as well as the search for answers to the Big Three questions:  (1) What are the origins of life; (2) What is the nature of life; (2) To understand consciousness.  We talked about the big bang, the microwave background and the early phases of the universe.  We also discussed cosmology & the inter-disciplinary nature of his book, including the fields of psychology, consciousness, and biology.  We talked about the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years.  Dr. Shaver then described the timeline by referencing the Sagan Calendar. I asked him about a section of his book, “Are There Questions That Science Can Never Address?” starting on page 238.  Dr. Shaver talked about taboos and the limits of science. Recurring events or experiences in the natural world can be subject to the scientific method.  A once-only event may not be due the inability to repeat the experiment.  Also, if something is outside the natural world, the paranormal for example, science would not likely be able to address that issue or question. Later, Dr. Shaver was asked what came before the Big Bang.  Here, he introduced us to multiverse theories.  He mentioned the work being done with the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the search for the Higgs-boson particle. Another project he mentioned was the European Space Agency Planck Satellite designed to observe the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background.  A listener asked about the political nature of science, especially science funding.  Dr. Shaver had much to say in response to this question, including the use of peer review.  Other listener questions asked him about big science projects and their value compared to cost such as the James Webb Space Telescope.  Cognition and consciousness were discussed in the context of his book which addresses the field of neuroscience.  Terry called to ask we will see in telescopes as we get closer to the big bang. Will we still see stars, planets, or just matter in chaos?  Dr. Shaver then guided us through gazing through the dark sky at night and slowly removing from our view the sources of light until we reach the edge of the universe which he referred to as the Near Side of Dark Ages.  Another listener asked if we could actually see the big bang and he talked about the microwave background and fog that we cannot see through.  This brought up the Hubble Deep Field, then Andrew asked if we could use a telescope to see the first light from Earth when it was formed. As our discussion was drawing to a close, we talked about the rate of advancements in science, finding planets in the habitable zone and the future for those wanting to study science or have a science related profession.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can order the book from Amazon using www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Heritage-Evolution-Bang-Conscious/dp/3642202608/ref=onegialeafou-20. Remember, when using this Amazon URL, Amazon contributes to The Space Show/OGLF.  Dr. Shaver can be reached at p4shaver@gmail.com.