Neil DeGrasse Tyson, America’sfavorite astrophysicist, was born on October 5th, 1958 in New YorkCity. Since Neil was very young, he was always interested in astronomy.Eventually this would lead him to be one of the most famous scientists of ourlifetime. At the age of nine, Tyson had visited the Hayden planetarium, wherehe now serves as the director.
At the time, this was one of the most inspiringmoments of his life and led to him pursuing a life of astronomy. Before he hadeven graduated high school, he had already received a personal letter from CarlSagan, a world famous astronomer at the time.Tyson went on to earn a master’sdegree in Physics from Harvard and a Doctorate in astrophysics from ColumbiaUniversity (Biography). This got Neil a job at the Hayden Planetarium where hefirst found his love for the cosmos. Perhaps one of the most notable achievementsto come from Neil DeGrasse Tyson was the reclassification of Pluto from aplanet to a “Dwarf Planet” Tysons reasoning was that Pluto was among many othersmaller bodies far out in the solar system, smaller than ourown moon, and it would not make sense to call these bodies, including Pluto,planets, because there are simply too many of these objects. This was receivedboth in a negative way from people who said that their favorite planet wasPluto, even getting him sent a very angry letter from a child in elementaryschool asking him to please change Pluto back to a planet because the “peoplewho live on Pluto” would vanish.
Aside from some of the public receiving thispoorly, the rest of the scientific community supported this idea and is one of themost notable things he has done. NeilDeGrasse Tyson is famed for explaining hard to understand things in a way thateveryone can understand, or as he says “One of my goals is to bring theuniverse down to Earth in a way that further excites the audience to wantmore,” (Biography). Arguably Tysons most well-known TV series appearancewas “Cosmos” which he hosted forNational Geographic. The miniseries was a remake of the series also called “Cosmos” which was aired in 1980. When itaired in 2014, it was very well received, conveying complex scientific topicslike the origins of life to the “Cosmic Calendar” and our spot on it. Tysonhas also served as a presidential advisor for the future of aerospace in 2001,under the bush administration. He has hosted the show Startalk since 2014, andhe had hosted a podcast also called Startalk prior to this. Ifyou live in New York, you’ll know the term “Manhattanhenge” (Telegraph) whichhappens twice each year.
Tyson coined the term for the event where the sunaligns with the streets of the city. Neil currently continues to hostStartalk and makes constant appearances in the media addressing scientificissues, in his well-spoken, humorous, and easy to understand manner.In my opinion, Neil’s biggestachievement is hosting the show Cosmos. As discussed earlier, Neil’s childhood role model was Carl Sagan whooriginally hosted the show Cosmos in 1980, so for Neil to be the one to hostthe new version in 2014, is a spectacular achievement, and is my opinion, whatput him on the public radar even more so than before. For me the show was oneof those experiences that really got me thinking about the universe, and it wasvery easy to follow, even having only a middle school education at the time. Ifind that this show demonstrated his ability to explain things so that theycould be easily understood very well. Movingon from that, if i was asked if i would want to be him, I would have to say no.This honestly has nothing to do with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and everything to dowith the fact that I’m happy as who I am.
I don’t think it would be a bad lifeto be him, but I’m nowhere near as smart as Mr. Tyson. Ithink it worth looking over all of Neil’s Achievements, so below is a charthighlighting his career as an Astrophysicist and TV personality.