“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” -Blaise Pascal By now, you’ve probably learned that Messier objects — and galaxies in particular — come in a huge, rich variety of types, structures and compositions. But sometimes, the simplest structure of all is the rarest. Think about it: most…

“Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?” -Michael Shermer After the end of another fun-filled week, it’s time again to take a look at (and respond to) what you’ve had to say! Over on the main Starts With A Bang blog,…

“I’m not playing a role. I’m being myself, whatever the hell that is.” -Bea Arthur It isn’t often that someone becomes both a legend and an inspiration simply by being themselves, and it’s even rarer in the world of entertainment if that person doesn’t just happen to be stunningly beautiful-or-handsome as well. But a certain…

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” -Yogi Berra Sure, the quantum Universe is a little bit spooky. Things that we’re used to being “determined” here in the macroscopic world, like where a particle will end up if you throw it, aren’t so simple if we head on down to subatomic scales. While you…

“Geologists have a saying: rocks remember.” -Neil Armstrong 45 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission was on its way away from planet Earth and headed towards the Moon, where the first human beings would set foot on the surface just a few days later. Back in 2012, the very first man on the Moon, Neil…

Today’s article comes courtesy of Sabine Hossenfelder. Sabine is an assistant professor for high energy physics at Nordita, Stockholm. She writes a blog called Backreaction and tweets as @skdh. Dark matter is one of the most elusive and puzzling entities in our Universe today. We have plenty of indirect evidence for it, but one of…

“Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.” -Carl von Clausewitz You’ve been hanging around here long enough that you know all about dark matter’s successes,…

“[T]his all fades to black, and it’s gone. It’s dust. Choose carefully what you obsess about.” -Meshell Ndegeocello It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new open cluster to look at, since the plane of the Milky Way (and the region towards the galactic center) has been obscured by the Earth and the…

“I’ve learned what ‘classical’ means. It means something that sings and dances through sheer joy of existence.” -Gustav Holst There are some great, creative works out there that take their inspiration from the amazing natural phenomena of this Universe. While perhaps Gustav Holst’s suite, The Planets, is best known for translating the celestial wonders into…

“Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.” -Albert Camus After a week at Starts With A Bang filled with a huge variety of topics, from Ninja Warrior to the Moon to the far future…