Hey, What’s So Funny? 31 Dubious Astronomy Jokes

Did you catch the story on astrophysicist and astronomy popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson in last Sunday’s Parade magazine? Great article. Tyson combines humor with astronomy in a way that’s positively infectious. What’s more, he loves corny astronomy jokes. Here are two zingers he shared in the article:

“A Higgs boson goes into a church and the priest says, ‘We don’t allow Higgs bosons here.’ And the Higgs boson says, ‘But without me there is no mass.'”

“A photon walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, ‘Do you want a double?’ And the photon says, ‘No I’m traveling light.'”

We’ll all be seeing and hearing more of Tyson when he hosts Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey starting March 9 on both Fox and the National Geographic Channel.

I love a good joke as well as the next person. Inspired, I scoured the Web in search of more astronomy jokes. Some of what you’re about to read are real groaners, others very clever. At least I hope you’ll break a smile. If I missed any of your favorites, please share them with our readers in the Comments section. I wanted to include the work of my favorite science cartoonist, Sidney Harris, but because his work is copyrighted, I encourage you to visit his page – Science Cartoons Plus – for more chuckles.

Without further ado:

I was up all night wondering where the sun had gone … then it dawned on me.
(Variation: Did you hear about the man who stayed up all night looking for the sun to come up? Yes, it finally DAWNED on him!)

A seminar on time travel will be held last Tuesday.

Two astrophysicists are discussing their research in a bar one evening when a drunk who overheard them in the next seat turns and says in a very worried voice, “What was that you just said?”
“We were discussion stellar evolution, and I said to my colleague here that the Sun would run out of nuclear fuel and turn into a red giant star in about 5 billion years, possibly melting the Earth.”
“Whew!” says the drunk, “You really had me worried. I thought you said 5 million.”

Sign seen near Area 51 in southern Nevada. Credit: Katherine King

How many balls of string would it take to reach the moon?
One. A very large one.

Never trust an atom because they make up everything.

Heisenberg is out for a drive when he’s stopped for speeding. The policeman says “Do you know how fast you were going?” Heisenberg says “No, but I know where I am.”

“In awe, I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space, wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang forever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I looked at all this I thought: ‘I must put a roof over this toilet’.”

Why does a moon rock taste better than an Earth rock?
It’s a little meteor

After his first meal on the moon, the 22nd century astronaut said the food was good but the place lacked atmosphere.

Two atoms bump into each other. One says “I’ve lost an electron.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m positive.”

How does the man in the moon cut his hair? Eclipse it.

Orion’s Belt is a big waist of space!

Black holes are most commonly found in black socks.

How could I resist? 2008 Venus moon conjunction. Credit: Bob King

An astronomy major had a part time job working in the university’s off-campus housing office. One day, a fellow student, upon entering the office in thought about the morning lecture, asked, “What is an astronomical unit?” To which the astronomy major replied, “One helluva big apartment.”

Why didn’t the Dog Star laugh at the joke?
It was too Sirius

What kind of songs do the planets like to sing?

When do astronauts have lunch?
At launch time

A neutrino walks into a bar… and keeps right on going …

My sibling kept asking me about the orbits of planets and the amount of area swept in any given time. I had to ask him: “Am I my brother’s Kepler?”

Why couldn’t the astronaut book a room on the moon?
Because it was full

First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Oh wait, it’s just a satellite

“There’s just one thing I can promise you about the outer space program – your tax dollar will go further.” — Wernher von Braun

A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bartender, “How much for a beer?” The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.”

Astronomers say the universe is finite, which is a comforting thought for those people who can’t remember where they leave things.

The speed of time is one second per second.

If athletes get “Athlete’s Foot”  What do astronauts get?
Missile toe

How do astronomers see in the dark?
They use standard candles 

“What do we call a group of stars that makes an imaginary picture in the sky?” the teacher asked.
“A consternation,” one student replied.

Q: How many absolute relativists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to hold the bulb and one to rotate the universe.

Q: What does an astronomer blow with gum?
A: Hubbles

For those of you who recall the Jackie Gleason Show. Click for more of his cartoons. Credit and copyright: Nick Downes

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and bottle of wine, they retire for the night and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes,” replies Watson.
“And what do you deduce from that?”
Watson ponders for a minute.
“Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes is silent for a moment. “Watson, you idiot!” he says. “Someone has stolen our tent!”

32 Responses

  1. Lynn

    Hi Bob
    Great jokes, but thick as I am I got lost on the one about the sun or is that just the answer as it says, hope nobody laughs at me asking that lol, I also wanted to ask you was the Russian meteor in February 2013, or was it another month, this saves me going through your blogs to find it, so thanks Bob

    1. astrobob

      Do you mean the bar scene with the drunk? If so, it’s the irony of it. As if 5 million years was just around the corner compared to 5 billion years. The Russian Chelyabinsk meteor event occurred on Feb. 15, 2013.

  2. On my way to a star party, I got pulled over by the local mounties. When asked by the officer if I knew why he had stopped me, I replied:
    “Beats me,I replied; I ran out of donuts an hour ago.”
    The officer must have been at the end of a long day as he failed to appreciate the humour. 😉

  3. Richard Keen

    Oh, the irony indeed. Which reminds me of geology jokes. I’d like to pit those astronomers against some geologists (geologists are at their best in pits). When rock hounds get together they say things like:
    “These rocks are so common everyone takes them for granite”
    “That’s too bad, since they’re so gneiss”
    And they’ll critique their couch potato office mates’ sedimentary lifestyles.
    I took a couple of courses in field geology, and once, at the end of a lovely day of fossil hunting, the instructor looked up at the hills and began singing “Red shales in the sunset”. Fortunately, the hills really were shale, not schist.
    But those seismologist jokes really crack me up!
    I’ve heard that when they’re out in the field, this back-and-forth banter is called “feld-sparring”.
    Of course, most of these jokes are as old as the hills.
    But some are even older…
    What was the weather like at the end of the ice age? Moraine!
    Well, it’s late. Better go to bed.
    I’ll sleep like a rock.

  4. Troy

    I’m really looking forward to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos redo. I had always hoped when Sagan was alive he’d do the natural sequel of Cosmos in his book “Pale Blue Dot” which was more about the solar system and less about the history of astronomy. Where Cosmos was Earth looking out, Pale Blue Dot is us looking back.

  5. Starlover1213

    I liked the Sherlock Holmes one! Watson must be very smart:

    “Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. …”

    Also, I am a Christian, so I’m glad about the last part!

      1. Richard Keen

        OK Carol, that’s true…
        except when they’re on Shift!
        On their next flight it is, of course

        1. Richard Keen

          Hey, the blog removed my punchline, which I had in brackets. Here goes again…
          On their next flight it is, of course Return Backspace.

    1. BCstargazer

      it took more than a while to catch this one but the bonus is that it works in both English & French 🙂

      2nd bonus is that I found the 1st big advantage of the new layout so even though I’m a year older now, there’s still hope for the likes of Bob and I


  6. DJ Phoenix

    The stolen tent one got me. I laughed so hard my other colleagues had to see what I was laughing at. They laughed too. Thank you for showing me the laugh of my day.

  7. Claude

    Thanks for laughter. I should add: clever laughter. I’m 85. I’ve heard so many sad stories in my life. And I can count on the internet to add to them. When I want a relief and I seek humour, the jokes are not always up my alley. But your page made me laugh. Apart from reminding me how much fun the universe is now that the Pope has apologised to Galileo. All the best to you, sir.

    1. astrobob

      Thank you, Claude. I’m delighted you got a laugh out of the jokes. Humor is so important to a happy life.

  8. beteljooz

    Thank you for these. I’ll start using some of them when I’m out at the local street corner doing Sidewalk Astronomy. I’d heard the one about dining on the moon, though slightly differently:
    Q: Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon?
    A: Great food, but no atmosphere.

    And the Holmes/Watson joke is a longtime fave.

    Sorry, I often over-think things. What’s with the conjunction / Piggly Wiggly photo?

    Thanks for the astro-humor!

    1. astrobob

      Hi beteljooz,
      Thanks! Piggly Wiggly was the juxtaposition which I found humorous. Bit of the absurd.

  9. Stargazer Bob.

    Two stars met in a bar. One star bragged that he was the brightest star in the sky. The other star said, “Are you Serius?”

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