August 17, 2022

EP. 278 — How Legendary Is The Milky Way? with Dr. Moiya McTier

Gossip Galaxy here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of the universe’s elite. I have it on *expert* authority that the Milky Way is stirring up cosmic drama. Has this Local Group galaxy had enough of its central black hole? Will they or won’t they with Andromeda? And is spaghettification the real dish of the summer? Dr. Moiya McTier and Jonathan tell all in this week’s stellar episode.

Dr. Moiya McTier is an astrophysicist, folklorist, and science communicator based in New York City. Her new book The Milky Way: An Autobiography of our Galaxy is out now.

After graduating from Harvard as the first person in the school’s history to study both astronomy and mythology, Moiya earned her PhD in astrophysics at Columbia University where she was selected as a National Science Foundation research fellow. Moiya has consulted with companies like Disney and PBS on their fictional worlds, helped design exhibits for the New York Hall of Science, and given hundreds of talks about science around the globe (including features on MSNBC, NPR, and NowThis News).

To combine her unique set of expertise, Moiya hosts and produces the Exolore podcast that explores fictional world-building through the lens of science. When she’s not researching space or imagining new worlds, Moiya can likely be found watching trashy reality TV with her cat, Kosmo.

You can follow Dr. McTier on Twitter and Instagram @goastromo, and at

Join the conversation, and find out what former guests are up to, by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.

Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

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Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

Getting Curious merch is available on

Headshot Credit for Dr. McTier: Mindy Tucker


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Dr. Moiya McTier JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode—ooh, this is such a good one—I’m joined by Dr. Moiya McTier, where I ask her: What is going on in the galaxy? Welcome to Getting Curious. This is Jonathan Van Ness. We have a very exciting episode this week. Every week is exciting, but this one’s, like, really fucking exciting because it’s about our galaxy. It’s about, like, the world in which we live. So in the words of Mrs. Dooley, without any further ado, welcome to the show. Dr. Moiya McTier, who is an astrophysicist, folklorist, and science communicator based in New York City. Her new book is The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy. She also is the host of the podcast Exolore, which you all are going to want to listen to a lot

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