Archives for October, 2016

“Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.” -Albert Einstein, 1905 The idea of relativity, that there’s no “absolute rest frame” where the laws of physics are…

“They most likely form as subsystems within looser associations and evolve by gravitational processes. Strong galaxy interactions result and merging is expected to lead to the ultimate demise of the group. Compact groups are surprisingly numerous, and may play a significant role in galaxy evolution.” -Paul Hickson With hundreds of billions of galaxies in an…

“Life and death matters, yes. And the question of how to behave in this world, how to go in the face of everything. Time is short and the water is rising.” -Raymond Carver As we make our way through October, Halloween approaches here at Starts With A Bang! But as eerie as the world and our Universe…

“There have to be moments when you glimpse something decent, something life-affirming even in the most twisted character. That’s where the real art lies.” -Martin McDonagh There is a whole lot of cosmic detective work we can do to figure out the history of the Solar System. By examining the fossil record, geological deposits, the…

“What is wild cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or copied. It is. Unmistakeable, unforgettable, unshamable, elemental as earth and ice, water, fire and air, a quintessence, pure spirit, resolving into no constituents.” –Jay Griffiths At the earliest times, we can trace the history of our Universe back to an inflationary state, where the energy…

“You are both fools. You cannot see thoughts, or angels. One is an abstract, the other a fantasy. To compare the two would be silly. Of course, using inferential logic, we can detect the existence of thought by the evidence of its actions, just as I detected the existence of a new form of radiation!…

“She didn’t even know what she’d do when she got back to New Orleans, but inside she felt a yearning to shove her hands in the dirt, to cling to the ground there, forever.” -Sarah Rae Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural disasters to occur on Earth, with extensive flooding, property damage and loss…

“‘Topology is destiny,’ he said, and put the drawers on. One leg at a time.” -Neal Stephenson If you want to understand the Universe, there are two big areas you need to know: Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which governs the gravitational force and the curvature of spacetime, and quantum physics, which governs all the…

“If you are fearful, a horse will back off. If you are calm and confident, it will come forward. For those who are often flattered or feared, the horse can be a welcome mirror of the best in human nature.” -Clare Balding One of the most iconic astronomy images is that of the Horsehead Nebula.…

“Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together. Throw two planets into space, and they will fall one on the other. Place two enemies in the midst of a crowd, and they will inevitably meet; it is a fatality, a question of time; that is…