Melbournian Matt Agnew is the titular Bachelor in the Channel 10 show of the same name, and much is being made of the fact that he’s an astrophysicist.
But what even is that, and how does an interest in space relate to the pursuit of lurve? Glad you asked!
What does an astrophysicist actually… you know, do?
They study the physical and chemical makeup of the universe in order to answer fundamental questions about the cosmos. It’s a fascinating career, and there’s never been a more exciting time to be doing it – so, if anything, he shouldn’t be dating on TV when there’s data from LIGO that needs poring over.
Does that mean he knows my star sign?
That’s astrology, which isn’t science, and not astronomy which is science. Also, you just need a calendar to work out someone’s star sign.
Also, it’s garbage.
But yeah, probably.
OK, fine. What was his favourite NASA mission?
The Pathfinder mission to Mars in 1997, according to his pre-interview. Which, to be fair, is a pretty cool one: it had the Sojourner rover which was the precursor to all the subsequent planet-roaming robots.
He’s also very keen on finding other Earthlike planets, so is probably all over the current exoplanet surveys.
Wait, have we found any of those?
Not yet. We’ve found a couple which are close-ish; there’s one called Kepler-452b that’s about 1.2 times as big as Earth and about the same distance from its star, but we don’t know much about it yet.
It’s also 1400 light years away, so not exactly next door.
Hold on, was this an excuse to force me to learn something about science?
Definitely not, perish the though. OK, yes.
How will we know he’s a scientist if he’s not in a white coat and holding a test tube?
Why… why would an astrophysicist have a test tube? They don’t do experiments with sun-juice, you know.
Will he be pepper his Rose Ceremony statements with lame puns about space?
If star signs aren’t a thing, why was NASA’s pre-Apollo mission called Gemini, huh?
What should a potential partner ask him?
His thoughts on recent theories that all elements heavier than iron are created in neutron star collisions, and whether that sort of ruins the romance of the whole “we are all made of stars” thing or makes it HEAPS MORE AWESOME.
Or, you know, how he’s doing. Either’s good.
Will his mission to love solve any fundamental questions about our place in the universe?
Absolutely. Provided that the winning bachelorettes is an organic chemist specialising in extreme environments for life, or an engineer with senior qualifications in aeronautics.
Sure, not everyone would hanker for a finale that ends with a project proposal being submitted to a funding body, but we’d watch the hell out of that show.