Archives for September, 2016

“Mapping out the elements in a star is like reading its DNA. We’re using those DNA readings to decode the history of the Milky Way from the stars that we can observe today.” -Steven Majewski Most of the stars in our Milky Way have long lives ahead of them, with dozens or even hundreds of…

“When you see how fragile and delicate life can be, all else fades into the background.” –Jenna Morasca The hot Big Bang — proposed seventy years ago — is a tremendous success story. Predicated on the assumption that the Universe was hotter, denser, more uniform and expanding faster in the past, it’s allowed us to…

“We are what we are, and we’re doing the best we can. It is not for you to set the standards by which we should be judged.” -Captain Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation Fifty years ago, on September 8, 1966, the first episode of the original Star Trek premiered. It introduced a vision of humanity’s…

“Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won’t engulf my head, I can see by infrared, How I hate the night.” -Douglas Adams The Hubble Space Telescope is an amazing piece of equipment, and has seen more distant stars and galaxies than any telescope before or since. Earlier this year, it broke its own…

“I have lost tolerance for things without meaning. There is no time for them. Does that make sense?” -Sara Seager The discovery of a potentially habitable planet around the nearest star to our own — Proxima Centauri — has brought up the tantalizing possibility that this might be closest Earth-like world ever found. But it’s…

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.” -Dag Hammarskjold A black hole is a region of space that’s got so much mass in such a small volume that the escape velocity within a specific…

“We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions.” -William Shatner It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. Although the biggest announcements seemed to shatter our picture of how things are, this week…

“What, I sometimes wonder, would it be like if I lived in a country where winter is a matter of a few chilly days and a few weeks’ rain; where the sun is never far away, and the flowers bloom all year long?” -Anna Neagle At some point in the future, the Sun, the giver…

“All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.” -Carl Sagan For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. While Newton may not be the final word in mechanics anymore since…

“A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.” -Fritjof Capra For most living humans on the planet, the Standard Model and General Relativity,…