Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What about the moon, stars and planets above?

Hayden Planetarium’s Neil deGrasse Tyson will explain


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson will give a presentation at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum tonight, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Photo by

"My first influence was coming to the Hayden Planetarium as a 9-year-old kid," said Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

Tyson will give a presentation at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum tonight, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Tyson's appearance is part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' latest multidisciplinary exhibition, "Cosmic." Tickets are $25 for Center members and $35 for nonmembers.

Tyson is the host of PBS's "NOVA Science Now," a columnist for Natural History magazine, and a frequent guest on television shows, including "The Colbert Report" and "Star Talk" on public radio. His most recently published books are "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries," which was a New York Times bestseller, and "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet," which chronicles his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto's planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary "The Pluto Files," based on the book, aired in March.

"Profound questions about the universe have been with us across time and across cultures," Tyson said. "The greatest thing about scientific inquiry is when objects are at a distance, they look simple and some of our tools are not capable of seeing the complexities that are there."

Tyson said there are many relevant connections events on earth and what is happening in space. As an example, he pointed to Venus' runaway greenhouse effect. He said earth is not an island, and we are participants in a universe constantly unfolding with events.

"You are inexcusabley egocentric to think there is no life beyond earth," Tyson said.

Tyson said he will tailor his presentation for the community and get a sense of the Wood River Valley's residents from the newspaper, political leanings and demographics.

"I will present a version of the universe that can best be conceived by that audience," he said. "I am senstive to whom I am speaking to."

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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