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Neil deGrasse Tyson Releases Full, Commercial-Free Version of His Interview With Stephen Hawking

We were all saddened to learn of the passing of world-renowned astrophysicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking today at the age of 76. What’s particularly melancholy is that a mere ten days before his death, he recorded an interview with another renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, for Tyson’s series, Star Talk, on National Geographic TV. The episode, which originally aired on March 4th, was released today in a commercial-free version in memory (and celebration of) the legendary Hawking.

It’s a fascinating interview, and one of the more interesting question that Tyson asks Hawking is “If we had some way to communicate through time with [Isaac Newton], and tell him about what life is like today, are there any questions, any problems that you would like him to solve?”

What’s interesting is Hawking’s response. He’d ask Newton: “Is a solar system stable? And what happens to a star that cannot support itself against its own gravity?”

As Tyson points out, Hawking doesn’t want to ask Newton for insight into new discoveries. He’s curious about how Newton would answer a question “at the boundary of where [he] left off in his own studies.” The playfulness of Hawking’s response is pretty awesome. It’s like This is stuff I already know, but I want to see how long it would’ve taken you to get there.

Check out the full, uninterrupted episode above, and then tell us below: what do you wish YOU could ask Stephen Hawking about the universe around us?

(via Laughing Squid, image: screencap)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.