Broadcast 1400 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

31 Jul 2010 Dr. Chris Impey
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Guest: Dr. Chris Impey. Topics: Astronomy, how the sun and the universe end and issues to consider before that happens. We welcomed Dr. Chris Impey of the University of Arizona Dept. of Astronomy to the show to discuss his new book, "How It Ends: From You To The Universe." You can order this book from the OGLF website and Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. Please use the URL In our first segment, we talked about the cosmic year and how human existence on the planet is equal to about a blink of the eye. Dr. Impey provided us with a time line based on the cosmic year which clarifies our place in the history of Earth. We talked about the human life span and what it means for the planet and national economies as life span increases. We also discussed the human perspective which is typically focused inward, not outward. We gradually shifted to discussing the Earth life cycle and life extension and the Earth as a living planet while Mars might be a dead planet though its not known for sure. A Seattle listener asked Dr. Impey about the habitability of a planet so don't miss this discussion. In segment two, we talked big universe issues and how it all ends. We started out by talking about the phases of the death of our sun and what it meant for life on Earth and the solar system. Titan and Europa were part of this discussion which you will want to hear. Later in the segment, our guest said we do not need to be attached to the sun. This is a discussion you must hear so don't miss it. A NYC listener asked about our obligation to the biosphere including other life forms if we take steps to ensure our survival. Are we obligated to protect all living things on Earth as well? You might be surprised by the response to this question. Dr. Impey was asked about our space program and how important it was to the future development of space and the solutions needed regarding the issues our guest was speaking to us about and that comprise his book to pursue human spaceflight now or what happens if it is side tracked, cancelled, delayed, or deferred. We had much to say about space policy in this context and again, you won't want to miss this discussion. In the third and final segment, we took a call from Charles which you will want to hear. We then started talking about how the universe ends which is quite different from the sun and on a much longer time scale. Multiple dimensions were discussed along with the Milky Way and the progress being made by science in coming up with solutions to potential problems and questions. At one point, the question was asked if we are smart enough to figure out answers. Questions were asked about his students and their grasp and interest in these subjects, and the time line for confirming microbial life someplace other than Earth. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Chris Impey, please send them to me at and I will forward them to him.



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