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.

“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonized’ it. So technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” -Andy Weir In the early 1960s, humanity began launching spacecraft to Mars, hoping to find out what the red planet was truly like. While early images revealed a heavily cratered surface, similar to…

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” -Marie Curie There’s…

“It’s everywhere, really. It’s between the galaxies. It is in this room. We believe that everywhere that you have space, empty space, that you cannot avoid having some of this dark energy.” -Adam Riess Have you heard about the accelerating Universe? What about dark energy, vacuum energy, or a cosmological constant? These are terms we…

“The origin and evolution of life are connected in the most intimate way with the origin and evolution of the stars.” -Carl Sagan The Crab Nebula is one of the most interesting and compelling objects in the entire night sky. In the year 1054, a supernova went off in the constellation of Taurus, where it…

“…an understanding of the infinite tree of universes seems to be needed in order to make statistical predictions about the properties of our own universe, which is assumed to be a typical “branch” on the tree.” -Alan Guth The Big Bang is commonly regarded as the start of it all, but that’s only the birth…

“When we have found how the nucleus of atoms is built up we shall have found the greatest secret of all — except life.” -Ernest Rutherford What does the future of astrophysics look like? Have we already made all of the fundamental discoveries we’re going to make? Is the rest just categorization of objects, identification…

“Finding out that something you have just discovered is considered all but impossible is one of the joys of science.” -Mike Brown In January of last year, astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown shocked the world by proposing that there was a world larger than Earth located some five-to-ten times as distant as Neptune. That…

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.” -Edwin Hubble When you look out at the distant Universe, you…

“It all had a beginning in the original cosmic explosion, whatever that was, and it’ll all have an end when all the stars run down.” -Isaac Asimov, The Last Question Each week brings new challenges, new questions, new topics and new things to think about here at Starts With A Bang! For those of you looking for…

“Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang.” -Alan Guth When we look to the deepest reaches of space, we can look for the “first” of any type of object. The first galaxy, the first…