astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

Our featured celebrity this week is...

astrophysicist NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON
born 1958 in New York City

director of the Hayden Planetarium since 1996
(at the American Museum of Natural History in New York)

* he had Pluto removed as a planet from the planetarium's exhibits years before the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto

Ph.D in astrophysics from Columbia, 1991

the "sexiest astrophysicist alive"
- according to People Magazine in 2000

has an asteroid named after him

has been on The Colbert Report discussing the definition of a planet

hosted the four-part "Origins" miniseries of PBS's Nova in 2004

has authored and co-authored numerous popular books on astronomy

Death By Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries (2007)
- a collection of essays from his column in Natural History magazine
- includes the essay “Hollywood Nights,” in which he rails against Hollywood movies that represent science inaccurately (e.g., the star field in the night sky over Kate Winslet in the Titanic)

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution (2005)
- companion volume to the two-part NOVA television special of the same title

One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos (2000)
- a planetarium in a book

Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge (2001)
- one of the editors
- illustrated companion to the American Museum of Natural History'sRose Center for Earth and Space
- essays by leading astronomers, including NASA scientists
- profiles of astronomers such as Carl Sagan and Georges Lemaître (father of the Big Bang theory)
- written for the general reader, with more than eighty full-color images and a glossary

The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist (2004)
- highly rated memoir; also recommended for young adults

Merlin's Tour of the Universe (1997)
- collection of questions and answers from Star Date, the popular astronomy magazine published by the McDonald Observatory
- answers to questions from the general public are supplied by Tyson, as "Merlin"

Just Visiting This Planet (1998)
- as Merlin again, visiting Earth from the planet Omniscia in the Andromeda galaxy


NOVA - Origins (2004)
- as host of the four-part series about the beginnings of the universe, our solar system, life on Earth, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life on other planets