Top 10 Facts About Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sure, we all know that Neil deGrasse Tyson is a respected mind in the scientific community, astrophysicist and the director of the Hayden Planetarium- but how much do you know about the man behind the science?
Spearheaded Pluto's Loss Of Status
This one probably upset more than a few people - declaring Pluto to no longer have full planetary status and instead re-classifying it as a dwarf planet. In order to get the celestial body re-classified to a Dwarf Planet, Neil spearheaded a movement which claimed that terrestrial planets and gas giants should be linked together - even going as far as changing his exhibits at the Hayden Planetarium. Neil was faced with much ridicule and hostility by those supporting Pluto - which you can read about in his book, The Pluto Files.
During the tragedy that was 9/11 for the American people, Neil deGrasse Tyson was living just blocks away from ground zero. The day after the events had settled he started writing of the incident and sent a letter around the scientific community wherein he recalls what the moments during the disaster was like for he and his family - all of which managed to make it to safety.
With all the podcasts available to us today, it's pretty hard to get some guests with some merit. Neil, however, is light-years in front of the crowd as he managed to get an interview with "God" on one of his "StarTalk Radio" podcasts. Just in case God isn't doing it for you, he has also managed to get other names on his podcast, such as Dan Aykroyd, Buzz Aldrin and Bill Nye the Science Guy - the latter to whom he has been friends with for quite awhile.
He's Very Active In Social Media
If you follow him, especially on Twitter, then you're already aware of how active Neil is on his social media platforms. Here, he will teach you some fun things, like how much Thor's hammer Mjolnir would in fact weigh based on science - and in the same way you can see how he handles being wrong about some of that science. It seems that being active on social media is a great way to gauge someone's humility as well.
Science Can Be Sexy
People Magazine had voted Neil deGrasse Tyson as the world's sexiest astrophysicist currently alive back in its November 13, 2000 issue. Tyson says that it all started more than 14-years and 25-pounds ago, claiming that "I didn't get big-headed about that". Laughing, he goes on to say "You know, considering the category, it's not like I was the sexiest action star or anything."
He Collects Wine
Probably not as known for being an oenophile as he is for being an astrophysicist but that never stopped his impressive wine collection from being featured inside the May 2000 issue of Wine Spectator. Though he wouldn't just go on to speak of his passion for wine, in typical Neil deGrasse fashion, he can also go on to speak about the scientific properties of it.
Best Selling Author
It's probably not much of a secret to those that know and follow the man, that Neil deGrasse Tyson is an author - writing ten books to date that include, The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution and his New York Times bestseller, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries.
In 2012, a rumor arose that Tyson was set to collaborate with Wu-Tang Clan's, GZA for an upcoming 2016 album, "Dark Matter". This seems to be false, as Neil himself wrote an email claiming “FYI: News reports that I am teaming up with Wu-Tang’s GZA to make a Hip Hop album are not entirely accurate”, coming back to say “Actually, they’re just false. I had the fellow as a guest on a soon-to-be-aired episode of StarTalk Radio. That’s when I learned he was greatly inspired by the universe and by my writings on the subject – both of which informed themes and lyrics that will appear on his next album. Somehow, in the internet blogosphere, that morphed to: ‘Tyson & GZA are collaborating on a hip-hop album".
More than just an incredible astrophysicist and renowned member of the scientific community, Neil has also done some acting, voice acting and cameo appearances for a number of different movies and shows - from the likes of Waddles the pig from Gravity Falls to an upcoming character in the new Ice Age: Collision Course, Neil deBuck Weasel. You may also have seen him in shows such as Family Guy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Big Bang Theory.
Got the Night Sky Changed in 'Titanic'
When the movie Titanic came out in 1997, most people were enamored by the film - between the romance and incredible cinematography, it's hard not to be. However if you're Neil deGrasse Tyson, when you watch the movie you notice that the scene where Rose is floating on a piece of wood in the ocean staring at the sky - you say on a panel that "There is only one sky she should have been looking at.. and it was the wrong sky! Worse than that, the left half of the sky was a mirror reflection of the right half of the sky. It was not only wrong, it was lazy." Well, it seems that's all it takes, because, for the 2012 re-release of Titanic, someone on James Cameron's post-production team called for the correct star alignment which is now a part of the movie.