Winter’s Night Sky

These days, astrophysicists like Dr. Michelle Thaller use instruments to probe the distant reaches of our galaxy, and far beyond. They use interferometry, the Hubble space telescope, and other technology impossible to imagine when the constellations of the winter sky were named.

But, as the season changes and Orion returns to view, Michelle still finds plenty of wonder left for us to see — even with the naked eye — in the cold, clear air of a winter’s night.



Orbital Path is produced by David Schulman (who returns this episode to answer Michelle’s questions about his recent alleged alien abduction). The program is edited by Andrea Mustain. Production oversight by John Barth and Genevieve Sponsler. Hosted by Michelle Thaller.



Photo credit: abductee# 29JE0391-RL-4S

The 11 Dimensions of Brian Greene

We live our lives in three dimensions. But we also walk those three dimensions along a fourth dimension: time.



Our world makes sense thanks to mathematics. Math lets us count our livestock, it lets us navigate our journeys. Mathematics has also proved an uncanny, stunningly accurate guide to what Brian Greene calls “the dark corners of reality.”



But what happens when math takes us far, far beyond what we — as humans — are equipped to perceive with our senses?  What does it mean when mathematics tells us, in no uncertain terms, that the world exists not in three, not in four — but in no fewer than eleven dimensions?



In this episode of Orbital Path, Brian Greene, director of Columbia’s Center for Theoretical Physics and a celebrated explainer of how our universe operates, sits down to talk with Dr. Michelle Thaller. Together they dig into the question of how we — as three-dimensional creatures — can come to terms with all those extra dimensions all around us. 


Orbital Path is produced by David Schulman and edited by Andrea Mustain. Production oversight by John Barth and Genevieve Sponsler. Hosted by Michelle Thaller.



Photo credit: World Science Festival / Greg Kessler.


For more, visit briangreene.org