The Solar System | Wheel of Science with Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Solar System | Wheel of Science with Neil deGrasse Tyson

– [Chuck] This episode of Wheel of Science is brought to you by Wix. – This week, on Wheel
of Science, cannabis! Nah, actually it’s space stuff. – Yeah, Chuck, we’re
talking solar system stuff, on Wheel of Science. (upbeat theme music) – Hey, everybody, I’m Chuck Nice, and welcome to Wheel of Science, the interactive show where we answer your questions about the universe. I don’t answer your
questions about the universe. The one, the only, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson answers your questions about the universe. What’s up, Neil? – All good, Chuck. All good in the universe. It’s Earth that’s messed up. – So Neil, you’re beaming
in from San Francisco, huh? – Indeed. – Yeah, I had an uncle who
actually escaped from Alcatraz. – No you don’t, and no he didn’t. – Of course I’m lying, yes. All right, you ready to jump
into our first question? – All right, bring it on. (wheel spinning) – Malik Maaz wants to know this: Why does gravity produce
elliptical orbits? Why aren’t they perfectly circular? What’s up, Neil? – Well, all gravity really does is change the path that you would have otherwise taken though space. I’m trying to go in a straight line, and something down here’s got some extra gravity for me, I end up curving towards that object. But if I have high enough speed, my trajectory will curve, but it won’t get pulled into orbit. It’ll just sort of send it
in a different direction. And if I don’t have enough speed, it’ll curve me so much, I’ll come in and crash. It’s only in between those two extremes that you end up having
any kind of orbit at all. You can have all kinds of orbits, depending on what kind of speed you have and what your distance is. Comets typically have very
elongated oval orbits, like that. And planets, as we think of them, tend to have much more circular orbits, but they’re still ellipses. There’s a little known fact, that over enough time, the interaction between
the object and the host, it could be a moon and a planet or a planet and a star. Over time, the orbit becomes more and more circular
in their interactions. And depending on how close it started, and what the thing is made of, that can happen quickly. You can end up with a perfectly circular orbit eventually. But otherwise, gravity’s just something that changes your direction. That’s all. – [Chuck] So maybe
that’s why Pluto’s orbit is different than any other planet. (gasps) Did I say planet, Neil? Oh, I’m sorry. – Its orbit is so elongated, it crosses the orbit of Neptune. That ain’t no kind of
behavior for a planet. I’m just saying. – [Chuck] I’m joking, Neil, I’m joking. – You don’t wanna go there. – All right, you ready
for another question? – Yeah, spin the wheel. (wheel spinnning) – [Chuck] Matt Hairfield wants to know why the planets orbit in
the direction that they do, or is it a 50/50 chance? – An answer to that question was first posed more than 250 years ago. In mid-1700s, Immanuel
Kant, the philosopher, as well as Laplace, a French
mathematician physicist, proposed something called
the Nebular Hypothesis. ‘Cause how else do you get all the planets orbiting in the same direction? Who ordered that? And it turns out, if you have a gas cloud, that is the parent object
that becomes the star and its orbiting planets. And this gas cloud rotates, as everything does in the universe, and it’s out of that gas cloud that you make your planets, and moons, and other objects, then anything you make
out of that gas cloud is gonna have an orbit
in the same direction around the host star. And the star will be rotating
in that same direction. So, this was an idea 250 years ago, later on, more thought invested in it, computer models, bears this out. And so, that’s how you can have an entire family of objects, everybody going in the same direction. And in fact, so strong is
that concept and that idea, that if you find something
orbiting the other way, you probably captured it later, and it did not have anything to do with the formation of the system itself. That’s how you know who’s got
birth right to the system, and who came in later. – [Chuck] As usual, Neil, (popping sound) That was a little mind blow. That was just a little one, okay? – That’s all I did to you? – Hey look, we gotta take a break, but when we come back, we’re gonna take a look at some comments from the Wheel of Science group, and of course, take more questions. Don’t go anywhere. is an amazing place to make your own personal
or business website. In fact, I built on Wix. It was super fast to embed videos, change fonts, and add background photos. Oh, that’s nice. I like it. To create your own professional website, go to Make sure you use that
special Star Talk link, we also put it in the description. Send us your sites in the comments! Welcome back to Wheel of Science! You know what time it is. – No, I don’t. What time is it? – Time to spin that wheel! Remember, all these questions come from the Wheel of Science Facebook group. Erin Kennedy wants to know this: Could you please explain the significance of the heliosphere, and how it’s made? – [Neil] So the sun, as we know, is a ball of gas, but it’s not just all stays that way. Some gas gets, like, ejected. And so there’s a stream of particles that come from the sun that we call the solar wind. And you might have
heard of the solar wind, ’cause it makes aurora. The particles stream and collide with our atmosphere near the poles, and it renders it a glow. Very beautiful. Well, this solar wind moves completely through the solar system, and it goes beyond the planets, beyond the comets, and there is a point,
where this solar wind can no longer be distinguished from the median that permeates between the stars of the galaxy. That is the actual edge
of the sun’s influence. The sun’s sort of particle influence on its environment. And we call the size of
that volume the heliosphere, and the boundary of that
volume the heliopause. And on September 12th, 2013, Voyager One, the intrepid Voyager One, crossed the heliopause, and only then could you say, it has left the solar system entirely. It’s not just, oh, let’s
go beyond the last planet, and now you’ve left the solar system, no. No, the sun reaches out far beyond. And there you have the heliosphere. And it’s always there, by the way. And as we move through the galaxy, it can take on different shapes, depending on what’s going on around us, and depending on the strength of the wind at any given moment. So it could be a sphere, but it’s usually a teardrop, as the solar system moves, as we orbit the center of the galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy. Do you have it, Chuck? – All right, Neil, that’s the heliosphere, but can you answer this? What is the craposphere? No you can’t, ’cause I just made it up. It’s my life. – I got nothing for you on that. – All right, now, on a serious note, you know we did an
episode about asteroids, and I actually saw this comment in the Facebook group comments. Ray Parker said this: I don’t care or want to
hear about asteroids. If we get hit, so be it, nothing we can do about it. There are other things that are a lot more important than rocks. Neil. – [Neil] This is why you want scientists and engineers in your midst. Because when something that might render you extinct arises, is on its way towards Earth, they will look up and say, how can we prevent that? And they’ll use methods and tools, and ingenious ideas, and that can be the difference between you being alive,
saying you don’t care, and you being extinct, where your thoughts then
wouldn’t matter to anyone. – [Chuck] Hey man, nobody
can argue with that. I’m picking the reality where my president is Morgan Freeman! And now I have a question
for all of you watching. Elon Musk announced the first commercial flight around the moon. Would you want to be on that trip? Answer the poll, right now. I don’t wanna be on it. I’m not being on that. Thanks again to for bringing Wheel of Science to YouTube. You can create a website with Wix in just minutes. They have templates on
literally everything. Take a look at the template I used for In less than an hour, I customized it, so it would look and feel like our show. Look at this! This is amazing. Customization was super simple. They gave me a million font choices, and every single element was customizable in just a few clicks. Look at that. That’s a website. That’s a Wheel of Science website. Check out our site, and when you’re done, make your own. Go to to make your professional website. You can upgrade it and add your own domain and get some really great extra features with their premium plans. Click on that link in the description, and get started on your
website right away. Also, share this show! Even if the person isn’t from Earth, they need to see it, too. As always, thanks to Neil deGrasse Tyson. Thanks, Neil. – You know I love you, Chuck. – I love you too, man. That was weird. Hey, I’m Chuck Nice, and until next time. This is Wheel of Science. (upbeat theme music)

100 thoughts on “The Solar System | Wheel of Science with Neil deGrasse Tyson”

  1. IceCold NukaColaQuantum says:

    Seriously? Even if I could experience 0 gravity I would probably cry of happiness.

  2. Daniel von Bose says:

    Elon Musk and his gang can go around the Moon or even to Mars, but I'll stay back on Earth. I want to hear about it though.

  3. RuskoE says:

    If our solar system started from a gas cloud? And we have heavy metals like gold etc. Where did the cloud come from? Other older stars?

  4. johnmb says:

    "What is the Craposhere?… Its my life" lol Amen Chuck, Amen

  5. csr6969 says:

    how can u prove this… oh you can't… gravity is just a theory..

  6. csr6969 says:

    hypothesis, theory are the key words. he don't know shit..

  7. csr6969 says:

    if the sun is a ball of gas where is all that gas coming from..

  8. Der Radfahrer says:

    As for the poll: Noooo thanks. Let's send some (all) Flat Earthers first. Problem solved either way.

  9. csr6969 says:

    first commercial flight around the moon with no windows… what's the point of that .

  10. ScarMsanii Aggrey says:


  11. Imight Realperson says:

    wait is neil gay now??

  12. JayDeePLUS BEATZ says:

    He like like a Flamboyant Arsenal Hall

  13. Wesley Rose says:

    What about how venus rotates the opposite direction?

  14. dj oneill says:

    #morganfreeman for president

  15. Alexis Rodriguez says:

    "Oh no you don't and no he didn't!" XD

  16. VidChan YTM says:

    Anyone know the difference between the podcast and the YouTube Channel? The videos he does in his office, is that the same as the podcasts, but with video? Are they different shows?

  17. ben Sella says:

    Of course I would like to be on Elons Starship! Ammm it came out wrong…

  18. griff will says:

    I would sign up to go to Mars right now with no guarantee of a return

  19. csr6969 says:

    theory and hypothesis key words just thoughts.. gravity is a theory, space is a theory.. no facts..

  20. csr6969 says:


  21. Edgar Siller says:

    Wouldn't have to ask me twice!!! Absolutely go to the moon!!!!

  22. Casius CBU says:

    neil degrasse awesome 👍

  23. Boba Frett says:

    Pluto's not a planet? Didn't know this?

  24. 1108 Studios Executive/Promotions says:

    Definitely would go on that trip without question. Btw you guys are great!!!

  25. Young Maestro says:

    NDT, didn’t recognize you as you weren’t interrupting Joe Rogan

  26. zaimah Begum-Diamond says:

    Someone put Chuck back please 🙄🙄

  27. Unknown User says:

    Wow did Neil say there's wind in space. Wow mind blown

  28. Charly 1304 says:

    8:20 A trip to the moon with the probability to die in space?…. Yes. Why not?

  29. MELLO JELLO says:

    This dude said GOD dont exist…
    Yet he cant explain why there are billions of stars
    In the universe…….that shine for millions of years plus…..

  30. Bo Rerun says:

    What's Happening!? Spin that wheel!

  31. Barton Paul Levenson says:

    Should've mentioned Triton and the counter-revolving moons of the other giant planets.

  32. For Comment Purposes says:

    So we cant even leave the solar system…………if leaving earth is already a problem.

  33. HerbertElayda says:

    @2:37 Legendary Meme.

  34. Rolletti21 says:


  35. Harsh Prajapati says:

    nei degrasse tyson, please explain bose enstein condansate state of matter .

  36. jablue says:

    I rarely want to be one of the first to try something, tbh. Let people braver than I go about that shit.

  37. Michael Arrington says:

    Why Don't we Now Use the Model studied in the Helious Sphere of the Vortex… Meaning the Sun appears to be pulling the planets.. Since the Vortex is Most Comon Shapes and or Pattern…

  38. Stephen McCrillis says:

    Yes hell Yes sign me up for that trip around the moon

  39. Swinde says:

    How can Voyager have "left" the solar system's influence while the ort cloud of "comets" is still far beyond the position of the probe?

  40. Pete Murphy says:

    What a fantastic quote around the 10 minute mark, “if someone could show us that we are wrong, that would be great”.
    Spoken like a true scientist!

  41. james ward says:

  42. csr6969 says:

    your thoughts don't matter to anyone..

  43. csr6969 says:

    first commercial flight around the moon with no windows.. what's the point of that

  44. csr6969 says:

    if the sun is just burning gas.. where is this gas coming from.. is it an endless supply? can you recreate that theory .. how can you prove that hypothesis

  45. csr6969 says:

    your not a scientist your just a paid philosopher

  46. csr6969 says:

    Elon musk says he can go to the moon but NASA can't.. hmmmm

  47. Gabriel Maurer says:

    I lost all respect for NDT after seeing him on the JRE

  48. csr6969 says:

    if the sun is a ball of gas, where does all that gas come from. is it an endless supply.. can you recreate that theory ..

  49. hank hill says:

    i counted. There isn't a million different fonts to choose from. That's false advertisement. (8:57)

  50. Trip Ashfaq says:

    Always full of knowledge and funny chit chat but unfortunately time of the show is very less? Chuck and Neil degrass tyson

  51. De'Marcus Kirby says:

    Not made on WIX but a site I personally made

  52. Allan Rojas says:

    How are we able to go to Mars and Jupiter and all that bullshit. But we cant go back to the moon. Mmm kinda fishy

  53. Cam Getit says:

    How is there gas clouds in the vacuum of space?

  54. WetBob SpongePants says:

    Question: If Pluto is a dwarf planet compared to Venus, Earth, Mars etc., what does that make Earth compared to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune?

  55. Kabir Bariana says:

    As the Sun expands into a Red Giant will the heliopause expand aswell? Is the oort cloud gravitationally bound to the sun? How big is the oort cloud?

  56. 1wwtom says:

    How come Hemorrhoids are Not called Assteroids?

  57. Nationalcitysycho d says:

    Neil deGrasse is a moron..he was asked a question one time COULDN'T answer.lmao

  58. Roger Brown says:

    Neil, why are all the planets horizontal instead of looking more like our drawing of an atom?

  59. FPVREVIEWS says:

    Pluto is not a planet…
    I have a gas cloud around me right now. That means that everything must orbit me in the same direction.
    WIX gives you one MILLION fonts?? wow, i hope that;s actually true!!
    Thanks to Chuck for ansering everyone's questions, and thanks to Niel for providing comic relief.!!

  60. Luke Trippany says:

    What a disgusting amount of advertisements in a video. This was more a sell for Wix than educational.

  61. Will Smith says:

    he just make it sound so simple enough that i can understand

  62. John Tannous says:

    Answer: yes

  63. Fume says:


  64. Vitlaus says:

    Accidentally clicked video while scrolling up and down on it like a cat toy 😜

  65. Jeff Miller says:

    I'll wait for the third. Get kinks worked out.

  66. dick hertz says:

    Earth is FLAT!!!

  67. Juan says:

    Do we have a 2nd Sun pulling all the planet's towards Pluto South towards the Kieper belt.why no one say's that we are in a "Space GAS CLOUDS"plus 3 steller object's clearly it's real I've got footage of lie. I put it up on you tube..(the destroyer nemisis & NIBURU PLANETX…. please leave me a comment Mr Tyson I'm a big fan of yours….Juan bx n.y.

  68. Mojo Machine says:

    Yes let's go ASAP

  69. The Duder says:

    Final question is brutal.
    I have complete faith in Elon and his entire workforce. But my brain can not ignore it being the first trip.
    A lot of things happen for the first time.
    But after the first time, we can prevent what happened from happening again. If that made any sense.
    It's early. lol

  70. Gustavo Tirado says:

    I'm surprised NDT didn't interrupt this time. Love you Neil.

  71. FinBoyXD says:

    I would 100% go for a trip around the moon.

  72. Socks With Sandals says:

    Just ask the Dinosaurs why we shouldn't worry about asteroids hitting us.
    Oh wait, we can't. They're all DEAD.
    – quote from Phil Plait.

  73. Hard Rock says:

    Did anyone order cheese with their try hard 80 ‘s black guys… oh no you diiint , program ….

  74. Steve Forster says:

    Solar system is a flat plane.but laugh when earth is said to be flat?

  75. Steve Forster says:

    Neil says Earth is oblate but images.not photos show a perfect sphere??? NASA lies!

  76. Steve Forster says:

    How does NASA's rockets get through the firmament to enter space?

  77. Hell N Degenerates says:

    Neil knows the earth is flat and stationary 👍

  78. Tim Cirulis says:

    Neat subscribed.

  79. Артём Матвеев says:

    Does he interrupt himself here?

  80. Carlos Rosario says:

    This guy with Neil has no clue just accepts everything he has to offer, no independent thinking whatsoever. Real thinkers challenge everything isn't that what we teach our kids.

  81. Don Allwin says:

    Pseudo science

  82. Riko Saikawa says:

    neil tyson is a blowhard on twittwr

  83. Patrick Shank says:

    "what is gravity?"
    Neil Tyson: "I don't know, next question."
    yet in this video he's an expert?? hahahaha stop listening to pseudoscience guys, large masses don't bend space guys. it all has to do with warping magnetic fields, not warping space. you people are cavemen.

  84. Miguel Sanchez says:

    If the universe is a hologram, then is the earth flat? 😎

  85. Jameel Ja says:

    Until we get gravity plating, like they have on star trek I ain't going to space.

  86. Cicely Shepherd says:

    Mr DeGrasse is the OG of science.

  87. Mystic 8580 says:

    Around the moon? In a heart beat. My dream is to go to space, actual space.

  88. Olkeriil Remengesau says:

    First thing first. Yang and TUlsi Plus UBi For Americans 2020.

  89. David Watson says:

    This is a great video!

  90. Darrin Green says:

    Yes. Send me today!!!

  91. Jared Strehlein says:

    Nice, Chuck Nice

  92. Glenn Swart says:

    Why does Neil NEVER discuss Plasma Cosmology and the Electric Universe with its stunning successes predicting the dynamics surrounding the Comet missions?

  93. Kenny McCashless says:

    Don't be a 2:59 ✋

  94. DarkStormGTS - says:

    Is that even a question? YES I would go on a trip around the moon!

  95. Nkululeko And Scratch says:

    I love Dr Tyson's work. I, like many of you have learnt a lot from him. It's amazing how he employs reductionism but still sustains the objective interest. Imagine if science teachers in schools taught our kids like this? It's easy to tell at the core of his thirst for knowledge, lies pure passion for science. For comprehension. He never makes any claims, because this man like many of us here understands that the man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all. Someday, I hope to meet Dr Tyson. It would be a great honor!!!

  96. Eric Tselovanskyi says:

    So it's just like Cosmic Queries but stylized for kids?

  97. LetsTerriblyPlay says:

    Whats causing Mercury to eventually lose orbit and fly away?

  98. Jack K says:

    Yeah neil, right. 'Gravity' is strong enough to hold the oceans 'down,' and 'up,' but too weak to influence a simple butterfly.

    Ever think of taking your comedy routine on the road?

  99. The clan 3,000 says:

    Oh wow my brain just melted into a thousand questions ….. Jupiter ?

  100. The clan 3,000 says:

    Oh wow my brain just melted into a thousand questions ….. Jupiter ?

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