Colbert to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Pluto 'has a heart, unlike you'

Watch Stephen Colbert try to coax some love for Pluto out of Neil deGrasse Tyson while they eat Klondike bars and discuss drafting in Nascar.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco

Even though Stephen Colbert's turn as the new host of "The Late Show" doesn't start until September 8, the comedic TV host has been busy making a few online videos preparing the world for his arrival. In the most recent one, Colbert sits down with Neil deGrasse Tyson to discuss the Pluto flyby of NASA probe New Horizons on July 14.

Tyson is the director of New York's Hayden Planetarium and host of last year's "Cosmos" reboot. Colbert's needling of the astrophysicist stems from Tyson's involvement in the 2006 demotion of Pluto from an actual planet to a dwarf planet.

Tyson tries to play it cool, pointing out the fact that even the tie he has on shows all the other planets except Pluto -- or rather, all the planets -- but it's pretty clear that he is actually thrilled by the space exploration event.

"It's not every day where you get to be the first eyes to set upon a completely undiscovered land," he says. "It is especially beautiful and especially exciting because no one has seen this before yesterday."

Colbert and Tyson also discuss Dante's "Inferno" and drafting in Nascar. It sure beats another dry NASA briefing about the New Horizons mission!

New Horizons' journey to Pluto (pictures)

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(Via The Verge)