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.

“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain, For strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain. America, America, man sheds his waste on thee, And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.” -George Carlin When you think of helium, you very likely think of balloons, birthday parties, and blimps. But this inert,…

“First Rate People hire first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people.” -Hermann Weyl So, here we are, encountering one another on the internet. There’s a really good chance that this is because you have some interest in space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, or some related area. Although I am an astrophysicist with a…

“At least six lamp posts were snapped off while I watched. A few minutes later, I saw a side girder bulge out. But, though the bridge was bucking up at an angle of 45 degrees, I thought she would be able to fight it out. But, that wasn’t to be.” -Bert Farquharson If you’ve only ever…

“I don’t always bet the same way I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.” -Hunter S. Thompson Did you know the world’s first wearable computer was built all the way back in the 1960s, was worn on your feet… and was used to help gamblers cheat at roulette? Physicists…

“As far as I can tell, every telescope that can look at it right now is looking at it right now.” -Matt Muterspaugh Earlier this decade, the Kepler mission became the most successful planet-finding endeavor of all time, turning up thousands of new worlds by measuring the transit data of some 150,000 stars. When planets…

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt It’s been an incredible week here at Starts With A Bang! We’ve covered everything from the night sky’s newest supernova to the possible fates of the Universe to what might be our window…

“My discovery that black holes emit radiation raised serious problems of consistency with the rest of physics. I have now resolved these problems, but the answer turned out to be not what I expected.” -Stephen Hawking One of the most puzzling things about Black Holes is that if you wait around long enough, they’ll evaporate…

“It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.” -Ernest Rutherford Nuclear physics has, for decades now, been regarded less as a window…

“We had this whole big beautiful place for discovery, and all we could think to do with it was wipe out everything that made it worth discovering.” -Buzz Aldrin It’s been more than 40 years since humans last set foot on the Moon. The final space shuttle flight occurred six years ago already, and the…

“When a massive star explodes at the end of its life, the explosion dispenses different elements-helium, carbon, oxygen, iron, nickel-across the universe, scattering stardust. That stardust now makes up the planets, including ours.” -Michelle Cuevas Every once in a while, a new light appears somewhere in the night sky: the result of a massive star…