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 most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” -Amelia Earhart While the summer may be coming to an…

The Inconstant Moon (Synopsis)

“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” -Romeo & Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2 Tonight holds a full Moon in store for skywatchers everywhere. Not just any old full Moon, mind you, but a Supermoon, the last one of the…

“You ain’t supposed to get salmon when they’re swimming upstream to spawn. But if you’re hungry, you do.” -Loretta Lynn One of the most remarkable stories in the natural world is the end-of-life story of the salmon. After being born in a stream, tributary, or other small spawning ground, baby salmon swim downstream into the…

“All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.” -Pink Floyd It’s been another great week exploring the Universe over at the main Starts With A Bang blog, as we’ve taken on the following topics since our last week: How long has the Universe been accelerating? (for Ask Ethan), Sharing…

Ask Ethan #53: What is the Big Rip? (Synopsis)

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” -Haruki Murakami Of all the ways our Universe can end —…

“I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about.” -Jay-Z Of all the stars in the night sky, it’s the brightest ones that capture our attentions the most. Prominent even under incredibly light-polluted conditions, their character, color and properties really comes…

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” -Thomas Jefferson If you could magically make the world a better place, what is it that you’d get rid of? The list is long, and the path there is uncertain. Yet if we…

“Ancients knew that you need guidance, patronage and protection as you move from one place or state to another, whenever you cross a bridge.” -Richard Rohr When you think about the stars in the sky, it takes some study to realize that the bluest, brightest stars are also the shortest lived. So when we look…

“If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away.” -Myla Hendricks, age 4 One of the most difficult things for any creative person to do is to let someone else into their creative space, into their projects and into the work that they’re most passionate about. But sometimes, that’s really the best thing you…

“There is no dark side in the moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark.” -Pink Floyd / Gerry O’Driscoll It’s been another fantastic week here at Starts With A Bang, where we’ve taken on a huge diversity of topics and run two fantastic posts from our contributing writers: Brian Koberlein and James Bullock. If you missed any…