Society for the Performing Arts has booked popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to start out the new year with, well, a big bang. The popular astrophysicist, author and TV host will give his "Cosmic Collissions" lecture at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at Jones Hall.

Tyson will explain things from space that go bump in the night (and in the day), focusing on how major asteroid and comet impacts can render life extinct on Earth. The audience will learn why and how this happens, and what scientists are doing about it. Tyson also will share his thoughts on science literacy and take questions from the audience.

The host of National Geographic's "StarTalk" television program and is the recipient of a slew of honorary degrees and awards (including several Emmys), as well as the author of books that bring high science down to earth, if you will. His most recent book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry," was published in May.

Tickets are $39-$119 at spahouston.org or 713-227-4772. A limited number of VIP meet and greet tickets are available.