“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” -Theodore Roosevelt Energy is a fundamental property of nature, and yet it’s also one of the most purely understood phenomena from a conceptual point of view. Some objects have energy inherently, such as in…

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” -Carl Jung 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it came into existence. Today, the part we can observe is 46 billion light years…

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” -Carl Sagan The President of the United States just released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and there are some big losers in the scientific world. The EPA, the NIH,…

“Without these supernova explosions, there are no mist-covered swamps, computer chips, trilobites, Mozart or the tears of a little girl. Without exploding stars, perhaps there could be a heaven, but there is certainly no Earth.” -Clifford A. Pickover One of the most sobering cosmic truths is that every star in the Universe will someday run…

“Dark matter or invisible element? You decide.” -Toba Beta The dark matter wars rage on and on, with both sides — those in favor of modifying gravity and those in favor of adding an additional mass component to the Universe — claiming victories for their own side and defeat for the other. But one piece…

“With the Hubble telescope and all the other things that are out there, I believe something would have come through. Today, I really believe we are unique.” -Mark Goddard Want to identify where stars are forming (or about to form) in the Universe? We’ve got no problem using visible light, which reveals unambiguous signatures associated…

“Science and religion are both the same thing. They’re there; they’re life. If it’s not science, it’s not a fact.” -Chuck Berry We always take pride in what we put out into the world here at Starts With A Bang, and I like to think that all of you take that same pride in everything…

“I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” -Neil Armstrong The full Moon is undoubtedly bright. As viewed from the Earth’s surface, it’s the second brightest object of all, after the Sun, and is more…

Where is the cosmic microwave background?

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” -Dwight L. Moody The farther away in space we look, the farther back in time we’re seeing. Light arriving from a star…

“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson When you think of crystals, you likely think of an interlocked, repeating lattice of atoms or molecules. That’s exactly what a conventional crystal is. But…