Archives for August, 2017

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying…

“I go to the Natural History Museum and look at the cage of stuffed starlings there. But my favourite thing is the big blue whale. The scale of it is unbelievable, and makes you feel how insignificant you are as a human being.” -Arthur Darvill How good is your sense of scale? Humans are notoriously…

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson Last week, millions of people across the United States got to experience the awe and wonder of a total solar eclipse, many for the very first time. But in a puzzling event, astrophysicist and one…

“The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories.” -Tom Dempsey As I write this, the gulf coast is currently being battered by Hurricane Harvey, with a few locations already having accumulated more than three feet of rainfall. This storm shows no signs of letting up anytime…

“The origin and evolution of life are connected in the most intimate way with the origin and evolution of the stars.” -Carl Sagan When it comes to dying stars, supernovae get all the press. They may be the largest and most massive stars to die, but hundreds of times more common are the planetary nebulae…

“It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ―Galadriel, LOTR, J.R.R. Tolkien Well, we’ve been anticipating it for months (or years), but this is our very first time meeting up since the total solar eclipse here at Starts…

“Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.” -Alexandra Adornetto The dream of futuristic…

“North Korea has taught a great lesson to all the countries in the world, especially the rogue countries of dictatorships or whatever: if you don’t want to be invaded by America, get some nuclear weapons.” -Michael Moore Last year, North Korea claimed to have obtained the technology to create a nuclear fusion bomb: the most…

“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.” -Stanisław Lem One of the questions that’s fascinated humanity since we first began looking up at the night sky is…

“Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions in nature… their sources have only recently been localized by observations of associated afterglows in X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, delayed in that order.” -Richard Matzner, on the dictionary entry for Gamma Ray Burst It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s been under two years…