Physical Science

“Our existence in this place, this microscopic corner of the cosmos, is fleeting. With utter disregard for our wants and needs, nature plays out its grand acts on scales of space and time that are truly hard to grasp. Perhaps all we can look to for real solace is our endless capacity to ask questions…

“To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field sown with millet, only one grain will grow.” -Metrodorus of Chios Later tonight, the European Southern Observatory is expected to make an announcement, and the smart money is on the discovery of…

The star that is nearest our own has a planet that could be habitable by Earthlings. This is very important news. The news comes to us from this research paper in Nature: A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri by Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Pedro J. Amado, John Barnes, Zaira M. Berdiñas, R.…

The Pale Red Dot project has found a planet. It is a terrestrial planet, orbiting in the formal habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Solar System. Proxima Centauri is a low mass red dwarf, and is part of a triple system, the other two stars being α Centauri A and B,…

“Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see an eclipse, clouds prevent a sight of it; and yet a sense of relief accompanies the disappointment.” –Simon Newcomb Next year, on August 21st, 2017, millions of Americans will delight in the first total solar eclipse to go from coast-to-coast in 99…

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of…

 “Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle!” -Sanya Richards-Ross It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. I myself was on vacation, but thanks to our generous Patreon supporters, I was able to put in the resources to get a week…

“I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe?…

“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.” -Golda Meir It’s been 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang for us, and when we look out at a distant object in the Universe, we’re seeing it as it was in the past. Its age —…

“And argon, krypton, neon, radon, xenon, zinc and rhodium, And chlorine, cobalt, carbon, copper, tungsten, tin and sodium. These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard, And there may be many others, but they haven’t been discarvard.” -Tom Lehrer Stars fuse hydrogen into helium, then helium into carbon and then…