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Neil deGrasse Tyson Hits 500K Followers On Twitter

Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

New York, NY (WIBX) – Maybe people do still care about space and the universe.

Following the recent plethora of star-related stories circulating the airwaves, the American Museum of Natural History is adding another story to the mix; Neil deGrasse Tyson has amassed 500,000 followers on Twitter.

Tyson, an astrophysicist and the current director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, reached the milestone this morning. Earlier this year (when he only had 127,000 followers), Tyson was picked by TIME as one of the world’s 140 most influential tweeters. Since then, his following has grown exponentially, gaining the eyes and ears of more than 370,000 additional science enthusiasts.

For those who don’t know much about Neil deGrasse Tyson, his resume is quite impressive. He was appointed by President George W. Bush twice to serve on commissions to discuss the future of space exploration and industry, and hosted five seasons of PBS’ long-running series “NOVA scienceNOW.”

Tyson also recently completed his tenth book, “Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier” and will host a revamped version of the late Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series for FOX, in 2014.

And, if none of that excites you, he also won a gold medal for International Latin Ballroom dancing during a national tournament in 1985, while attending the University of Texas.

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

But on Twitter, Tyson plays the perfect role; that of a science communicator and ambassador. He says he strives to share his passion with the public in any way possible, even if it can only contain 140 characters.

“Social media, and Twitter in particular, provide fertile opportunities to feed the public’s appetite for science,” Tyson said. “In a way, I’m just a servant of that interest, which is already there for some, but is freshly discovered for many.”

Those following his tweets will end up seeing humorous gems like this; “Flight Attendants say: ‘Cabin pressurized for your comfort & safety.’ What they mean is: ‘otherwise you’d freeze & suffocate.’”

For the most part, his tweets provide the same facts that one may learn in science class, but with added creative flair, served up in the same style as former “Jeopardy!” mainstay, Ken Jennings.

Mr. Tyson can be found on Twitter at @NeilTyson or serving as the host for StarTalk Radio.

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