Astrophysicist and TV personality Neil deGrasse Tyson charmed a crowd of thousands last night in Alumni Arena with wicked humor and a talk on the wonders of the universe that ended with this thought, founded on centuries of scientific discovery: “We are stardust.”
Tyson, host of the PBS series NOVA scienceNOW and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, opened his Distinguished Speakers Series lecture by telling the audience, to waves of laughter, that he would not be discussing such topics as the end of the universe in 2012 or Pluto’s demotion from planet to “dirty iceball.” Instead, over the course of an hour, Tyson shared a list of 10 “out-of-this-world” tidbits of information on space and humanity that left many listeners silent with awe.
He began with item No. 10 on his list: “The universe has many stars.”
“The universe has a boatload of stars,” Tyson said. “How many? Let’s find out. Let’s work our way there, shall we? Let’s count our way there.”