Archives for December, 2016

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” -Andy Warhol Any week that passes by that leaves you knowing more than when you started is a good one here at Starts With A Bang! I hope this past week didn’t disappoint, as many of you became acquainted not only with our…

“I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.” -Ed White, at the end of his first spacewalk A great many of us had dreams of becoming an astronaut when we were younger, and many of us still have that dream today. But turning that dream into reality involves a lot of…

How the Universe changed in 2016 (Synopsis)

“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” -W. Somerset Maugham After 13.8 billion years have gone by, you might not think that a year makes much of a difference. A year to the…

“It is worthy of notice that in Table VI the brighter variables have the longer periods. It is also noticeable that those having the longest periods appear to be as regular in their variations as those which pass through their changes in a day or two.” -Henrietta Leavitt The past year has held a slew…

“We are inside this plasma, and plasma is inside everything. It is incandescent in the sun, and I am curious to know if you are able to stop orbiting yourself around it even for a second.” -Marieta Maglas The phenomenon of solar flares has been understood qualitatively but not quantitatively for a long time. The…

“The bedrock nature of space and time and the unification of cosmos and quantum are surely among science’s great ‘open frontiers.’ These are parts of the intellectual map where we’re still groping for the truth – where, in the fashion of ancient cartographers, we must still inscribe ‘here be dragons.’” -Martin Rees In 2015, LIGO…

“I’ll never, ever be full. I’ll always be hungry. Obviously, I’m not talking about food.” -Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Only a very small percentage of galaxies have active supermassive black holes. While the black holes themselves are common, they only rarely feed, gaining a huge influx of matter to accelerate and send jets and other…

“A thing may be of deeper impossibility than another, in the sense that you can be more deeply underwater–but whether you are five feet or five fathoms from the surface you are still all wet.” -Brian McGreevy It’s been a spectacular week of investigating the Universe and our knowledge about it here at Starts With A Bang! There…

“I think there are a number of experiments that are thinking about how you could look in different frequency bands, and get a glimpse of the primordial gravitational wave background. I think that would be really revolutionary, because that would be your first glimpse at the very first instant of our Universe.” -Dave Reitze, LIGO’s…

“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” -Lord Kelvin The particle physics ‘nightmare scenario’ was that the LHC at CERN would achieve its desired energies and collision rates, that it would find a single Higgs boson between about 120 and 140 GeV, and…