Physical Science

“The black holes collide in complete darkness. None of the energy exploding from the collision comes out as light. No telescope will ever see the event.” -Janna Levin Whenever there’s a catastrophic, cataclysmic event in space, there’s almost always a tremendous release of energy that accompanies it. A supernova emits light; a neutron star merger…

“No matter what technique you use, you should get the same value for the expansion rate of the universe today.” -Ben Hoscheit When you think of the Universe on the largest scales, you likely think of galaxies grouped and clustered together in huge, massive collections, separated by enormous cosmic voids. But there’s another kind of…

“One volcano puts out more toxic gases – one volcano – than man makes in a whole year. And when you look at this ‘climate change,’ and when you look at the regular climate change that we all have in the world, we have warm and we have cooling spells.” -John Raese Every year, dozens…

“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.” -Dmitri Mendeleev When the Big…

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” -Marquis de Lafayette There’s so much science to talk about in any given week here at Starts With A Bang! It’s sometimes hard to choose, but one particular topic stole the show this past week: black holes. Sure, we took on other things, too, but we didn’t even…

“Black holes are the seductive dragons of the universe, outwardly quiescent yet violent at the heart, uncanny, hostile, primeval, emitting a negative radiance that draws all toward them, gobbling up all who come too close…these strange galactic monsters, for whom creation is destruction, death life, chaos order.” -Robert Coover For the third time since it…

Exoplanet Extravaganza

In February, exoplanet hunters announced the discovery of seven rocky planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1 only forty light-years away. Compared to our sun, TRAPPIST-1 is tiny, and all its planets orbit closer than Mercury orbits Sol. But three of them are still in the Goldilocks zone that could be “just right” for life, and all…

“Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.” -Jean Dubuffet In the far future, all the galaxies within our Local Group will merge together, with enough gas and stellar material to form trillions…

“There are several categories of scientists in the world; those of second or third rank do their best but never get very far. Then there is the first rank, those who make important discoveries, fundamental to scientific progress. But then there are the geniuses, like Galilei and Newton. Majorana was one of these.” -Enrico Fermi…

“Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.” -Sam Neill, Event Horizon Are event horizons real? With data taken from around a dozen observatories earlier this year, simultaneously, the Event Horizon Telescope is poised to put together the first-ever direct image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy Sagittarius A*. If…