Astronomer throwdown

By Phil Plait | April 6, 2012 6:30 am

Posted almost without comment:

From here via here. Rumor has it this was done by Gary Lyons, but I cannot seem to confirm this or find an email address for him. In my defense, though, I didn’t try very hard. I leave it to my devoted minions if the interest motivates you. My friend Fred Bremmer tells me that Gary Lyons did indeed make this. The original is on Facebook:

Also? Neil would win. He’s like 15 cm taller and has 20 kilos on me.

[Edited to add: Hmmm. When that picture was taken I was holding, and using, a 1/2 Watt green laser that was powerful enough to ignite a pack of matches and pop balloons. That might even the odds.]

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Astronomy, Geekery, Humor

Comments (30)

  1. Wootings

    “Neil would win. He’s like 15 cm taller and has 20 kilos on me.”

    What? Don’t tell me you haven’t mastered the ancient martial art of Astro-Fu. Wherein you use your opponent’s size against him. And his astro-knowledge.

  2. harry

    On top of that, have you seen the man dance!?

  3. NoAstronomer

    Just stay loose and don’t go for the bow at the start.

  4. Mike V

    Plus, I hear Pluto crossed him once and look what happened to it.

  5. llewelly

    Phil Plait admits he needs a laser cannon to have a chance against Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  6. Randy

    Dr. Tyson also wrestled in college. So he knows how to body slam and use folding chairs as deadly weapons.

  7. Ponteaus

    Yeah, this might be the quickest knock-out in history. No offense, Phil! :)

  8. I’ve never seen Neil blow anything up, unlike the 90 minutes of blowing stuff up that Phil did in “Bad Universe”.

  9. Cid

    looking forward for this.. maybe a google hangout, at least?, or inviting him into a virtual star party with you guys?

  10. harry (2): Ah, but you’ve never seen me dance. I am not afraid.

  11. Jon Hanford

    Looks like we’ll have to wait for a dance-off on a future episode of “Dancing With Astronomers”. :)

  12. Larry

    I can hear Neil even now:

    “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men…”

  13. SkyGazer

    Oh nooooo not another tv-show like “Do You Think You Can Astronome” or “The X-Ray Factor”

  14. DeepField

    I’m no lawyer, but is “not trying very hard” a good defense?

  15. Russell

    I would like to see Phil go up against Neil and other bad-astronomers in a Jeopardy round !
    All science questions!! Now that would be fun!

  16. Martin Hajovsky

    OK, clearly this is the beginning of Must-See-Internet-TV. What is needed is a contest on the Astronomy Cast podcast on both Astronomy and definitely non-astronomy questions (maybe religion?) Fraser Cain, Emily Lakdawalla and Pamela Gay moderate.

    Or, it’s a 2v2 format, with Lakdawalla/Plait v Gay/Tyson or Lakdawalla/Tyson (repping the Planetary Society) v Gay/Plait and Fraser Cain moderating. (I would suggest Gay/Lakdawalla v Plait/Tyson but I want to give Phil and Neil at least some chance to win, and that might be stacking the deck against them a little too much.)

  17. amphiox

    What? Don’t tell me you haven’t mastered the ancient martial art of Astro-Fu. Wherein you use your opponent’s size against him. And his astro-knowledge.

    The way I see it, gravity dominates astronomy, so the bigger mass always wins….

  18. Mick

    Looks like Neil is about to play some mean jazz saxophone, while Phil gets groovy with the keyboard. If I try hard enough, I can hear a smooth 80’s love ballad playing in the wind.

  19. CB

    Sorry but I can’t stop thinking about what an “Ass-tronomer” is, and the only things I can think of aren’t very flattering. :/

  20. Sam

    I’d say the ‘Bad’ astronomer is the one without the OD5+ specs on 😉

  21. You think a tiny half watt laser would win against Tyson? He has laser for eyes. 20 watt lasers. And you don’t want to see what his navel can do.

  22. Infinite123Lifer

    A fine Hobbit battle t’would make.

  23. Gary Ansorge

    Oh no, you can’t pop his balloon. It would get…astronomer stuff…all over the place…

    …of course, if his balloon is inflated with hydrogen, voila, flaming Tyson a la king…( is that a french dish?).

    Gary 7

  24. kat wagner

    O my gosh, I think the two of you should go on The Colbert Report together and let Stephen ask the questions. And embarrass the heck out of him. And bring the green laser too.

  25. Melf_Himself

    “1/2 Watt green laser”

    You need some more wavelength-appropriate safety glasses my friend.

  26. Murff

    “Just stay loose and don’t go for the bow at the start.”

    Made me laugh at 5:30 in the a.m. Bravo!

  27. Ben H

    That would be the laser you posted about and had to take down later, eh?

  28. Artor

    I was thinking that this could make for an awesome EPIC RAP BATTLE!!! In case you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s Einstein vs Hawking.

    That one’s not the greatest, but you guys could actually do it playing yourselves. It would be astronomically epic! Bring it on guys!!!

  29. Gary Lyons

    When I put this together, I never thought this would create much of a stir. I really adore both of these guys to the highest degree.

    I think some of yous guys are onto something, how bout The Hawkin’ VS The Dawkin’? I was thinking this throw-down would be the like Spock VS Kirk but the Hawk would have to use his Yoda mind control.

    So is it Badass-tronomer or? Bad Ass-tronomer? or…. I wasn’t sure 😛

  30. Matt B.

    But if Neil’s more massive, you get a gravity assist, Phil.


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