Neil deGrasse Tyson: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me (‘I Have Never Shaved My Mustache!’)

Out of this world! American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson delves into unexplored territory in this week’s issue of Us Weekly. Catch Tyson, 58, as host of StarTalk (Mondays at 11 p.m. ET on National Geographic Channel), a late-night television show where celebrities and real stars come together. His companion book — titled StarTalk: Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond — is available now.

1. I attended the Bronx High School of Science in New York, home of eight Nobel Prizes (the same as the country of Spain).

2. I have an asteroid named after me called 13123 Tyson. It orbits between Mars and Jupiter.

3. I also have a species of amphibian named after me. Its common name is Tyson’s Leaping Frog, and its species name is Indirana tysoni. It is found on the Indian subcontinent.

4. I collect limited-edition fountain pens, each with a cosmic theme.

5. I have 120 cosmic-themed ties and a half dozen cosmic-themed vests, one of which I wear more often than the rest.

6. I was captain of my high school wrestling team, and undefeated.

7. I prefer lemonade to beer, hot chocolate to coffee and a milkshake to soda.

8. I was a member of three dance troupes in college.

9. My wife [Alice Young] of 28 years has a PhD in mathematical physics.

10. Though I am a card-carrying geek, I know pi to only 10 decimal places.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

11. My first visit to a planetarium was at age 9, and it was the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, which I now direct.

12. I’m a wine enthusiast of 30 years with a recent focus on Burgundy.

13. I’m a fan of Broadway musicals.

14. And given my love of language, in another life I might have been a songwriter for musicals, but in this life I have no such talent.

15. I bought a telescope in middle school with money earned from walking dogs (the golden age before pooper scooper laws).

16. Even at important meetings, I can’t resist swiveling in my chair.

17. In my generation, I’m the only one I know with no cavities.

18. I have never shaved my mustache.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Scott Gries/National Geographic Channel

19. I count Bill Nye as one of my best friends. He taught me how to tie a bow tie.

20. My best foreign language is the computer-programming language Fortran.

21. Though I’m an omnivore, I eat meat only once or twice a week.

22. My reach is 10 inches longer than my 6-foot-2 height. I require special shirts to fit my sleeve length.

23. When I tweet my observations on science in films, my goal is to enhance enjoyment. Given how many people react negatively, I’m clearly failing in this goal.

24. Try as I might, I never manage to channel-surf past Tosh.0.

25. In seventh-grade wood shop, I made a Saturn lamp where you pivot the rings and the light turns on. It still serves as my office desk lamp.

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