Neil deGrasse Tyson decided to become a scientist when he was "starstruck" by a planetarium show

Last night at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, I had the pleasure of chatting on stage with Neil deGrasse Tyson about what inspired him to become a scientist. He told a packed crowd about how he fell in love with the stars — in the Hayden Planetarium that he now runs. Here's a video of Tyson telling us about being "starstruck" by a planetarium show.

Tyson also told us about why 1980s movie The Black Hole sucks, why Batman rules, and what his hopes are for the human colonization of our solar system. Here's the video of our full conversation.

What Was It is a series of short interviews co-hosted on io9 and Gizmodo that asks the luminaries of science and science fiction what inspired them to delve so deeply into the only kind of magic we have in the real world - science and technology. What was it that first opened their eyes? Find out more at What Was It?

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Dr Emilio Lizardo

Annalee, if I ever make it to an io9 meetup and I manage to drag my wife with me, you must never, ever tell her that you were that close to NdGT. If you do, she will follow you around like a puppy for the entire night. Unless, of course, you need a groupie.