Archives for September, 2014

“I told my father that someday when I grow up and become an astronomer ‘I’m going to discover something.’” -Thomas Bopp But who ever would have imagined that a kid with an armchair interest in astronomy, one who as an adult didn’t even own a telescope, would stare into a friend’s one fateful night at…

Everything is different now (Synopsis)

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” -Milan Kundera Many of you have been along on this journey with me for years…

Throwback Thursday: The Green Flash (Synopsis)

“It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.” -Carl Sagan Although I often hear people utter sentiments that knowledge somehow undermines the beauty of the natural world — quoting some farcical poem about bad teachers like When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer — I never quite understood it. How…

“I was confided to your loyalty and accepted by your treason; you offer my death to those to whom you had promised my life. Do you know who it is you are destroying here? It is yourself.” -Victor Hugo So those of you who’ve been paying attention may have just heard that we’ve mapped out…

The Planets that Never Were (Synopsis)

In 1992, scientists discovered the first planets orbiting a star other than our Sun. The pulsar PSR B1257+12 was discovered to have its own planetary system, and since then, exoplanet discoveries have exploded! But did you know that long before that, back in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, a scientist studying Barnard’s Star — the second-closest…

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” -Amelia Earhart While the summer may be coming to an…

The Inconstant Moon (Synopsis)

“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” -Romeo & Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2 Tonight holds a full Moon in store for skywatchers everywhere. Not just any old full Moon, mind you, but a Supermoon, the last one of the…

“You ain’t supposed to get salmon when they’re swimming upstream to spawn. But if you’re hungry, you do.” -Loretta Lynn One of the most remarkable stories in the natural world is the end-of-life story of the salmon. After being born in a stream, tributary, or other small spawning ground, baby salmon swim downstream into the…

“All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.” -Pink Floyd It’s been another great week exploring the Universe over at the main Starts With A Bang blog, as we’ve taken on the following topics since our last week: How long has the Universe been accelerating? (for Ask Ethan), Sharing…

Ask Ethan #53: What is the Big Rip? (Synopsis)

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” -Haruki Murakami Of all the ways our Universe can end —…