Archives for April, 2008

How Come We Have A Moon?

But I didn’t want one! Stop your whining, Earthlings. We have a serious question to answer, courtesy of Tamara: What’s the moon like below its surface, moving into the interior? And what’s the current thought on its formation? Well, we do know a lot about the Moon’s insides the same way we know about the…

Black Hole Kicked Out of Galaxy

No, not because it was too young to drink! Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics were looking at some X-ray objects, and discovered something really weird: a very bright X-ray source moving out of a galaxy at nearly 3,000 kilometers/second! This thing is a goner. If our Sun were moving at even…

Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes I’ll see you on the dark side of the Moon. One of my favorite readers, Zrinka, asks us why we’re only able to see one side of the Moon from Earth. Seriously, look at the different phases; we always see the same side of the…

Grow a Spine!

Old man Dave writes to me about his back problems: The spine. I want to know about the spine. I know you are not that kind of PHD but still……. I’ve had back problems most of my adult life. It seems to me if we were “intelligently” designed that we might have a more efficient,…

A Note To My Readers

Dear Reader(s): This is Ethan, and I’m writing this to you to let you know that I owe you an apology. I have gotten so excited with the idea of bringing the story of the Universe to you — to tell you how we got from the birth of the Universe to the present day,…

Weekend Diversion: Gimme Some Money!

Stop wastin’ my time. You know what I want. You know what I need, or maybe you don’t. Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything? Gimme some money! My fellow Americans, are you impatient about getting your “stimulus package” from the government? First off, a lot of people are going…

The Earth is More than 6000 Years Old!

Even creationists have said that if you find something that’s alive now that’s over 6000 years old, it would prove to them that the Earth is at least that old. Previously, the oldest tree in the world was thought to be a Bristlecone Pine in California, known as the Methuselah tree, at 4,840 years old…

Cosmic Sound Waves… Rule?

So as a full member of both the American Astronomical Society and the American Physical Society, I get sent issues of the magazine Physics Today. Well, I was going through the April issue, when I saw this article: Cosmic Sound Waves Rule by Daniel J. Eisenstein and Charles L. Bennett That first name sounds familiar.…

Late to the Party

(Thanks to Starts With A Bang! reader benhead.) The Hubble Space Telescope has released some beautiful images of colliding galaxies in a huge collection! Here are some of my favorites, with my very own names for them (real name in parentheses). We’ll start with the Glowing Arrow (Arp 148): The Highway Windshield (NGC 6240) The…

Someone Hates Inflation!

Warning: Crazy talk ahead. Some of you may remember that I wrote about inflation and why its alternatives fail awhile back. Apparently, Louise Riofrio didn’t get the memo. When there’s misinformation about cosmology out there, it’s up to me to set the record straight. (And I am not alone.) Let me first remind you about…