Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. -Oprah
Welcome to 2010, everybody! I know that many of you have been following my writing for some time, and many of you have just started recently, so I’d like to start the New Year off right, and (re)introduce myself and this blog to you. With lots of pretty pictures.
My name’s Ethan, and I love the Universe. I love looking up, out, and beyond what’s here on Earth, into the great abyss of deep space, and trying to figure out what’s out there.
Not just what’s out there, but how it got to be there, where it came from, where it’s going, and how we know it.
That includes the things we don’t understand yet, like why the gravity (blue) and normal matter (pink) that we find don’t match up on large scales in space.
This stuff — Astronomy, Physics, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Cosmology — is what I’ve loved enough to work on, in one way or another, for my entire adult life. What I’ve learned amazes and enthralls me, and gives me a tremendous joy whenever I lose myself thinking about it. And that’s too much for me to simply hold inside, so I write. I write to share that joy with you, and I try to do it in a way that will be entertaining, interesting, engaging, and educational for you. (And that includes showing you the best pictures I can find/procure/create/scavenge. Mostly scavenge.)
And that’s why I keep this site. Because I know something that was terribly hard to learn, and I not only know it really well, but I enjoy sharing that joy and understanding as best as I possibly can.
Sometimes I’ll talk about things that are right in our backyard, like the Sun, the Moon, or even things going on here on Earth, and sometimes we’ll head out to the farthest reaches of space. Sometimes I’ll tell you about things happening on the tiniest, sub-nuclear scales, while other times we’ll look out at some of the largest structures in the Universe.
Sometimes the focus is astronomy, sometimes physics. And every once in a while, I’ll write about health, the environment, the human body, or something else that I’m less of an expert on, but that I’ll choose to go out on a limb and write about anyway. (And once a week, on Saturday or Sunday, I’ll give you something completely random, often with a song.) But I always come back to the Universe.
So for tonight — because why wait — if you’ve got clear skies and the bright Moon doesn’t wreck it for you, check out the quadrantid meteor shower, which peaks tonight. If you can find the big dipper in the sky, you’ll know where to look for meteors. Just check out the image below.
But — in honor of the New Year — I’m going to offer something special for all of you.
There’s a story to be told about the history of the Universe, about where it all came from, about how it got to be the way it is, and about where it’s headed. It’s the greatest story ever told, only it’s a story that only a few people in the world ever really learn well.
I’m one of them. So look for my Greatest Story Ever Told series, starting later this week, where we’ll start before the Big Bang and come forward in time to the present day, and then go even beyond that, into the future.
So here’s to starting 2010 with a bang, and to you, my wonderful readers, for helping inspire me to keep doing what I love!