Ethan was born in New York City as the son of a Jewish postal worker. He did his undergrad at Northwestern, taught public school in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, before moving to Florida, where he got his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of Florida. After that, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin, ate too much cheese, and also met his life partner, Jamie. After working in astrophysics research at the University of Arizona and starting the world-renowned science blog, Starts With A Bang, he moved from the hellish desert to rain-soaked Portland in 2008. Since then, he's been a professor at the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, grown a nationally renowned beard and mustache, got invited to join a circus and probably drank more beer than a healthy person should. He currently works as the head curator at Trapit, and can't wait to tell you a little bit more about the Universe.

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…

From Heaven to Earth (Synopsis)

If you want to know where you are on Earth, you use a GPS, you use other terrestrial landmarks to help determine your location, or you use some well-known objects in the sky. This will get you latitude easily, but how about longitude? While there are some tricky things you can do to help yourself…

“I lie on the floor, washed by nothing and hanging on. I cry at night. I am afraid of hearing voices, or a voice. I have come to the edge, of the land. I could get pushed over.” -Margaret Atwood We had a great run with Messier Monday, followed by a fun mini-series on Mini-Movie…

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” -Stephen Hawking But did you ever stop to imagine that one of those things that Superman would be is the greatest home run hitter of all time? Have a listen to Iron & Wine‘s song, Waitin’ For A…

“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.” -Eckhart Tolle It’s been an amazing week here at Starts With A Bang, and you’ve been given plenty to think about. In particular, here’s what the past seven days have seen:…

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” -Albert Einstein And yet, this is a very good reason! We need things to happen in stages: you can’t form human beings before you form planets (that would be bad); you can’t form stars before you form atoms (also bad); you can’t form…

“That I learned even as a three year-old that I see this world that is really a mess and I learned to say, ‘This is not me. I am not the one that is messed up. It is out there.’” -Story Musgrave It was 25 years ago this year that the Hubble Space Telescope first…

“Even when Darwin’s teaching first made its appearance, it became clear at once that its scientific, materialist core, its teaching concerning the evolution of living nature, was antagonistic to the idealism that reigned in biology.” -Trofim Lysenko We love having debates when there’s a disagreement. When there are multiple competing explanations for an effect, multiple…

The slow dance that made you (Synopsis)

“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!” -George Gamow But how was it that this happened? Sure, the Universe may have started off with hydrogen and helium alone, but when we look around at…

“But even when the moon looks like it’s waning…it’s actually never changing shape. Don’t ever forget that.” -Ai Yazawa You’ve seen the iconic crescent, quarter, gibbous and full phases for yourself, and probably even an eclipse or two. For millennia, the Moon has fascinated, delighted and mystified observers of the skies. Less than 50 years…