Neil deGrasse Tyson joins host Elliott Forrest for an hour-long exploration of Gustav Holst’s 20th-century masterpiece “The Planets” and how it contrasts and compares to our own solar system. Sunday, August 20th at 8pm

“You realize quickly that this set of seven movements was not inspired by the planets themselves, but by the mythology that surrounds them. It so happens that this set of mythological gods were the ones chosen for the real planets,” Tyson says. “[Holst] really should have called them The Gods , but he called them The Planets . And that’s good enough for me to embrace it.”

Tyson makes the case that Holst’s mythological inspirations are absolutely appropriate — and made even better music than taking a more scientific route. “He’s drawing themes that are emotional. And any good music takes your emotions to where they’ve never been before. I don’t know how you can get emotional about Venus.

This radio special features a recording of The Planets by William Boughton and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Then, take a tour of the planets with our new, interactive feature.

Daniel Gilliam is Program Director and host