What Space Can Teach Us About Our World

Astronomy isn't just about looking up at the sky. The Adler Planetarium's Michelle Nichols delves deep into the lessons that astronomy can teach us about our own world and gives an update on when (and why) we're hoping to finish the "race to Mars." Plus: the surprising relationship many scientists have with religion.

As Director of Public Observing, Michelle leads the Adler Planetarium's various telescope and sky observing efforts, including the "'Scopes in the City" telescope outreach program, free nighttime observing in the Doane Observatory via "Doane at Dusk," Adler's telescope volunteer program, and much more. Stream or download the podcast using the player below, or find the episode everywhere podcasts are found, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Gretta.

To Infinity And Beyond

Bringing more than 20 years of experience working at the Adler Planetarium, Michelle discusses:

  • What exactly is motivating the race to Mars, and our progress in understanding the red planet.
  • The state of the international space research and exploration community, including updates on specific projects.
  • The value of astronomy and space science and why it's important.
  • How astronomers and other scientists really feel about religion and about science fiction (the answers may surprise you).
  • What astronauts are like in person, including Buzz Aldrin's opinions on space exploration.
  • The difference between orbit and "lower earth orbit," plus why and how NASA is working with private organizations that are interested in going there.
  • Some of the best places in the U.S. to stargaze, from planetariums to national parks.

Plus, hear Michelle try to stump Cody with some Italian cooking trivia! Click here to follow along with a written transcript of this episode (and share clips with your friends).

Podcast Show Notes And Links

Michelle Nichols, Director of Public Observing at the Adler Planetarium

About the Curiosity Podcast: Curiosity makes you smarter – and so will this podcast. Each episode features experts in every field who explain why their knowledge is important and why you should care. Developed as an audio companion to the existing Curiosity experience, you'll learn about your brain and your body, outer space and the depths of the sea, how history shaped the world into what it is today, and more. From the largest galaxies to your smallest brain cells, hosts Cody Gough and Ashley Hamer will share their curiosity to help you understand the world better.

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