Heaven’s Touch: From Killer Stars to the Seeds of Life, How We Are Connected to the Universe

Guest: James B. Kaler, Ph.D.

We may feel isolated from the universe on a planet so small. But, says astronomer James Kaler, we are more connected to our corner of existence than we think. Today on Focus, he joins us to talk about his new book Heaven's Touch, in which he explores the variety of ways that the universe affects events on our own planet, from the gravitational effects of Jupiter to solar flares to deep-space cosmic rays.

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

Guest: Neil deGrasse Tyson.

How did the universe begin? It's a question that plagued scientists for centuries, and one that astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explores in his recent book Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution. He joins us on Focus today to discuss the formation of the universe, as well as its galaxies, planets... and inhabitants.

How the Universe Got its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in Finite Space

Guest: Janna Levin.

Is the universe infinite or just really big? In her new book How the Universe Got its Spots, cosmologist Janna Levin synthesizes areas of science from geometry to string theory to explain how the patterns left in the universe by the Big Bang may one day be used by scientists to reveal the exact size and shape of the universe. She joins us today on Focus to discuss her book and her day-to-day life as a physicist exploring this area of her field.

Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe

Guest: Neil Comins.

One of the biggest paradoxes of modern science is that the more we discover about the natural world, the more we come to understand that our everyday perceptions of it are incorrect. Physicist Neil Comins joins Focus today to talk about his new book Heavenly Errors, in which he identifies numerous misconceptions about the universe and addresses the errors in these lines of thought.

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