Live Discussion: How Good is the Science of “Interstellar?”

The highly anticipated film “Interstellar” is based on science and theory; from wormholes, to the push-pull of gravity on a planet, to the way a black hole might re-adjust your concept of time. But just how much of the movie is really true to what we know about the Universe? There has also been some discussion whether the physics used for the visual effects in the movie actually was good enough to produce some science. But how much of it is just creative license?

Today, (Wed. November 26) at 19:00 UTC (3 pm EDT, 12:00 pm PDT), the Kavli foundation hosts a live discussion with three astrophysicists who will answer viewers’ questions about black holes, relativity and gravity, to separate the movie’s science facts from its science fiction.

According to the Kavli twitter feed, the Hangout will even help you understand what in the world happened at the end of the movie!

Scientists Mandeep Gill, Eric Miller and Hardip Sanghera will answer your questions in the live Google Hangout.

Submit questions ahead of and during the webcast by emailing [email protected] or by using the hashtag #KavliSciBlog on Twitter or Google+.

You can watch today’s hangout here:

Also, you can enjoy the “Interstellar” trailer:

Watch Live Webcast: Oldest Light in the Universe from Planck

Earlier this year, a new map of the Cosmic Microwave Background from the Planck spacecraft revealed our Universe was a bit older and is expanding a tad more slowly that previously thought. Additionally, there are certain large scale features that cosmologists cannot readily explain. In fact, because of this finding — possible because of the Planck satellite — we may need to modify, amend or even fundamentally change our description of the Universe’s first moments.

Today, July 31, at 19:00 UTC (12:00 p.m. PDT, 3:00 pm EDT) the Kavli Foundation is hosting a live Google+ Hangout: “A New Baby Picture of the Universe.” You can watch in the player embedded below. You’ll have the chance to ask your questions to Planck scientists by posting on Twitter with the hashtag #KavliAstro, or by email to [email protected]. Questions can be sent prior and during the live webcast. If you miss it live, you can watch the replay here, as well.

You will hear from three leading members of the Planck research team — George Efstathiou and Anthony Lasenby of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, and Krzysztof Gorski, Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA and faculty member at the Warsaw University Observatory in Poland — and they’ll answer your questions about what was found and what this means to our understanding of the universe.

See the Kavli Foundation page for this event for more details.

Hanging Out with Astronauts

On May 23, NASA hosted a Google+ Hangout from the Johnson Space Center with three recently returned International Space Station Astronauts. NASA astronauts Kevin Ford, Tom Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield answered questions about daily living in a weightless environment, all the scientific research they did, the spacewalk conducted by Marshburn, how they hope they helped the people of Earth “fall in love with their planet,” and what it is like to return back to Earth after 5-6 months in space.

Below are two more astronaut videos. The first is a post landing interview with the very popular Chris Hadfield, and the second is a video with several ESA astronauts — including Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano who is heading for the ISS next week — talking about living and working in space.

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Join Universe Today’s Live Webcast of the Curiosity Rover Landing

Want to be part of the Mars Science Laboratory landing event and join thousands of others in watching it live? Universe Today is teaming up with Google, the SETI Institute and CosmoQuest to provide unprecedented, live coverage of the historic landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars. Starting at 8 pm PDT on August 5th (03:00 UTC August 6th) a live, 4-hour webcast will highlight the landing of the car-sized robotic roving laboratory. During the webcast, via a Google+ Hangout on Air, scientists, engineers and other experts will provide unique insight into the rover and the landing, and viewers will have the chance to interact and ask questions.

Hosted by Universe Today’s Fraser Cain, along with Dr. Pamela Gay and Dr. Phil Plait, the webcast will feature interviews with special guests, a live video feed from NASA of the landing, and live coverage from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Planetary Society’s PlanetFest by reporters Scott Lewis and Amy Shira Teitel, who will be on location to interview members of the MSL team, as well as and other scientists and NASA officials that will be on hand.

The landing itself is scheduled for 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (05:31 UTC Aug. 6). Curiosity’s landing will mark the start of a two-year mission to investigate whether one of the most intriguing places on Mars ever has offered an environment favorable for microbial life.

As you know, Universe Today, in collaboration with CosmoQuest hosts weekly virtual star parties and science conversations via Google+ Hangouts on Air, and for the Transit of Venus, hosted a special Hangout event that was watched by nearly 7,000 viewers.

Those interested in watching Universe Today’s MSL landing event can find more information and also sign up to “attend” the Hangout on Air here.

The feed will also be available on Universe Today’s YouTube live feed.

You can also follow the action via Twitter from Universe Today (@universetoday) and CosmoQuest (@CosmoQuestX ) by using the hashtag #marshangout

We also have the event listed on Facebook.