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073

Neil deGrasse Tyson

OLogy Series
ologist
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073

Neil deGrasse Tyson

OLogy Series
ologist

As a kid, Neil Tyson first glimpsed the magic of the Universe in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, and was hooked. Today, he is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He continues to research galaxies, works with a team to create new space shows, but most of all, loves explaining how the Universe works.

Ice Cream at 37,000 feet
As Neil tells it, "A few years ago, when Comet Hale-Bopp was visible, the sight of it from an airplane window moved me so much that I wanted to share my excitement with everybody on board. I jotted down some information on how and when it was discovered, as well as some terrifying facts about what would happen if it struck Earth. I attached my business card as Director of the Hayden Planetarium and handed the note to the flight attendant and said, "please deliver this message to the pilot." A few minutes later, the pilot made an announcement that an astrophysicist on board had supplied him with information that he would like to read about Comet Hale-Bopp. Later, the flight attendant invited me to sit in first class, and served me a mini-bottle of Champagne followed by an ice cream sundae."

How did Neil afford to buy a telescope as a kid?

a famous astronomer gave it to him

walking dogs to save up the money to buy it

he never owned his own telescope

Are you right?

Correct!

Dog walking really pays off! Neil walked dogs Ceba, Julie, and Tuffy for months to save up money to buy his first telescope. Talk about determination!

Neil Tyson, astrophysicist

When I see nine-year-old kids at the planetarium with a gleam in their eye, I think, they could be me.

Neil originally wanted to be an astronaut.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

While Neil thought that going to the Moon was a marvelous technical feat, he never wanted to be an astronaut, unless he could visit stars and other galaxies.

Birth: October 5, 1958 Birthplace: Bronx, NY
Title: Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
Education: B.A. Physics, Harvard University; Ph.D. Astrophysics, Columbia University
Known for: teaching complicated concepts of astrophysics to everyone
Selected books: Merlin's Tour of the Universe and The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH; Neil Tyson: AMNH.