Archives for June, 2013

Our great cosmic motion

“It’s a wonderful world. You can’t go backwards. You’re always moving forward. It’s the wonderful part about life. And that’s terrific.” -Harvey Fierstein Yes, it’s true. As stationary and secure as it seems when you plant your feet firmly on the ground, the reality is we are always moving through the cosmos. About its axis,…

Cosmic Awe

“…the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.” -Carl Sagan As many of you know, I’m fortunate enough to live in a city that values science and scientific knowledge so highly that the our local news…

“New stars offer to the mind a phenomenon more surprising, and less explicable, than almost any other in the science of astronomy.” -George Adams Welcome back to another Messier Monday here on Starts With A Bang! The Messier catalogue was the very first accurate deep-sky catalogue with over 100 objects, finally topping out with 110…

“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!” -Ralph Waldo Emerson If you’re a regular here, you’re no doubt more connected and interested in what lies beyond this world than…

Beyond Baryons

“In any case, the number three fitted perfectly the way quarks occur in nature.” -Murray Gell-Mann You might think that we know it all, at least as far as knowing-it-all is possible. After all, we know that matter is made up of atoms, which are made up of electrons and nuclei, and the nuclei are…

“Science cannot tell theology how to construct a doctrine of creation, but you can’t construct a doctrine of creation without taking account of the age of the universe and the evolutionary character of cosmic history.” -John Polkinghorne Out there in space, whether we look with our eyes or with a telescope — a far more…

“God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.” -Bill Watterson Welcome back to another Messier Monday, only here on Starts With A Bang! With each new Monday, we take an in-depth look at a prominently visible random object from Messier’s catalogue…

“Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” -Oscar Wilde It’s tough to tell fact from fiction, and sometimes just as hard to tell reality from illusion. As long as you’re enjoying yourself this weekend, I’d have to agree with Buckwheat Zydeco, and say Let The Good Times Roll. But despite what these images you’re looking…

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.” -Frank Zappa One of the most difficult things to talk about, for any self-respecting scientist, is politics. Like all of you, I have my preferences, my opinions, and my…

What is the Big Bang all about?

“Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star Biggest puzzle from afar How unlike the other ones Brighter than a billion suns Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star How I wonder what you are.” -George Gamow The Big Bang is one of the greatest, revolutionary ideas in all of modern science, but it’s also one of the most successful ideas as far as…