Archives for February, 2013

The Physics of a Bottomless Pit

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay I’m sure you’ve thought about it before: what would happen if you dropped something into a bottomless pit? No, not one of those fake bottomless…

Messier Monday: The Triangulum Galaxy, M33

“Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson Welcome back, for another Messier Monday here on Starts With A Bang! Each Monday, we’ve been taking a look at one of the 110 Deep-Sky Objects that make up the Messier catalogue, a mix of clusters, nebulae, galaxies and…

Weekend Diversion: Down the Ant Hole

“When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.” -E.O. Wilson Sure, there are entire worlds within our world that we never even give a second thought to. There’s an entire subterranean Universe to explore, and you might get the feeling to do it if you listen to…

For the love of science

“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand…

The Worst Kind of Science Hype

“We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist…

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if the simplest things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” -Eleanora Duse Welcome to another Messier Monday, where each week we take a look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier…

Weekend Diversion: Chess is Almost Solved!

“There are some things we do much better than computers, but since most of chess is tactically based they do many things better than humans. And this imbalance remains. I no longer have any issues. It’s a bit like asking an astronomer, does he mind that a telescope does all the work?” -Vishy Anand It…

The Universe Just Keeps Trying to Kill Us

“Don’t wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.” -Roger Zelazny It’s always the ones you least expect that get you the worst, it seems. I went to bed last night excited that Asteroid 2012 DA14, a 200,000 ton asteroid, was going to pass within just 28,000 km (or…

The Physics of Sunsets

“It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.” -Carl Sagan I would argue the exact opposite, in fact: the beauty of a sunset, in all of its varieties and variations, is only enhanced the more you know about it. The next time you watch the Sun…

“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.” -Marcel Proust Welcome to another Messier Monday, where each week we take an in-depth look at one of the 110 deep sky objects that make up the Messier Catalogue! Messier was not the first person to try and make an accurate, large catalog of deep sky objects,…