Neil deGrasse Tyson on his new book, favorite planet, and "cosmic perspective"

Neil deGrasse Tyson's new book

In his new book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry," Neil deGrasse Tyson offers a pocket-sized primer of our understanding of the universe. 

"I try to collect some of the most mind-blowing science, astrophysics, in this small volume ... and I try to tie a bow on it at the end with a kind of multi-cosmic perspective," Tyson said on "CBS This Morning."  

Neil deGrasse Tyson on God

The astrophysicist and director of New York's Hayden Planetarium wants to help people see things on a bigger scale. "Cosmic perspective puts us in our place in the universe," he said.

He uses the example of bacteria in the human body. As he tweeted in 2012: "More bacteria live & work in one centimeter of your lower colon than the sum of all humans ever born."

"If you think you're at the top of evolutionary matter and you're in charge, just ask those bacteria," Tyson said on Tuesday. "Because they're thriving and as far as they're concerned, you're a dark anaerobic vessel of fecal matter for them. And if you get them upset you will know very quickly. So it's a way to say, 'No you're not really as in charge as you think you are.'" 

Tyson also applies the cosmic perspective to Saturn, his favorite planet — aside from Earth. The NASA spacecraft Cassini traveled between the planet and its rings last week. "The images from Saturn, one of those images portrayed Earth... as a pale blue dot," Tyson explained. "And that's a cosmic perspective."

And of course, there's nothing like the possibility of life on another planet to make someone consider the size of their impact within an expansive universe.

"I have a chapter called 'The Exoplanet Earth,' where you get to think about Earth as though there were aliens trying to figure out if there's life on this planet we call Earth when viewed from a distance. And this gives you some insight as to what our challenges are when we look beyond."