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.

“When a star goes supernova, the explosion emits enough light to overshadow an entire solar system, even a galaxy. Such explosions can set off the creation of new stars.” -Todd Nelsen In February of 1987, the first light from a supernova some 168,000 light years away was observed on Earth. It became the closest supernova…

“I didn’t even know there were stars to look at to not see. If you don’t know that they’re there, you don’t know that you’re missing them.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson, on light pollution As with pretty much every week that goes by, we’ve had a slew of fantastic stories here at Starts With A Bang! There have…

“The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.” -Edwin Hubble As you look to greater and greater distances, you’re looking back in time in the Universe. But thanks to dark energy, what we can see and access today isn’t always going to be accessible. As galaxies grow more distant with the accelerated expansion…

“It’s the gravity that shapes the large scale structure of the universe, even though it is the weakest of four categories of forces.” -Stephen Hawking Galaxies don’t just exist in isolation in our Universe, but are often found bound together as a part of even grander structures. Our own Milky Way is bound in a…

“When Benjamin Franklin inveted the lightning rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God.” -Bertrand Russell You’ll often hear charges that science has become too politicized, but it’s the other way around. Science is our best way…

“It isn’t only the beauty of the night sky that thrills me. It’s the sense I have that some of those points of light are the home stars of beings not so different from us, daily cares and all. who look across space with wonder, just as we do.” -Frank Drake What is it that…

Did Mars Once Have Three Moons? (Synopsis)

“The larger inner moons fall back to Mars after about 5 million years due to the tidal pull of the planet, after which the two outer satellites evolve into Phobos- and Deimos-like orbits.” -Pascal Rosenblatt, et al. Compared to the other moons we know of in the Solar System, Mars’s two, Phobos and Deimos, are incredibly difficult to…

“Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling…

“We think we’ve come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, is all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly, it threatens to start all over again.” -Captain Picard It’s been another remarkable week here at Starts With A Bang! Of course there’s been news, science, physics and astronomy galore, but the biggest…

“I really didn’t have to work, shall we say, with Star Trek. It was a natural. When I opened my mouth, there was Scotty. It’s like I tell people what you see in Scotty is 99% James Doohan and 1% accent.” -James Doohan So, your friend on the USS Enterprise beamed you aboard, took you…