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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

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1752-BWB-2012-04-15.mp3

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.

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

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

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1696-BWB-2012-01-23.mp3

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.