Planetary Radio • Jan 21, 2014

From Earth to the Edge of the Universe: A New Edition of “The Cosmos”

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On This Episode

20140121 alex filippenko

Alex Filippenko

Professor of Astronomy for University of California Berkeley

Pasachoff jay

Jay Pasachoff

Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy for Williams College

Astronomers Jay Pasachoff and Alex Filippenko have just published the 4th edition of "The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millenium." They join us for a conversation about this monumental textbook. Emily Lakdawalla helps us say good morning to the just-awakened Rosetta spacecraft, while Bill Nye is fascinated and puzzled by what looks like a jelly doughnut on the Martian surface. Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan have a copy of “The Cosmos” to give away in the What’s Up space trivia contest.

Related Links:

This week's prize is a copy of "The Cosmos!"

This week's question:

What bodies has Rosetta flown by on the way to its comet encounter?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Monday, January 27, at 2pm Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What northern hemisphere constellation is best known for looking like the letter "W" or sometimes "M?"


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What was the first power tool specifically designed for space use in 1964, according to NASA?


The Martin Company and Black and Decker created the "electric minimum reaction space tool"—basically, a battery-powered drill.