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.

“We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions.” -William Shatner It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. Although the biggest announcements seemed to shatter our picture of how things are, this week…

“What, I sometimes wonder, would it be like if I lived in a country where winter is a matter of a few chilly days and a few weeks’ rain; where the sun is never far away, and the flowers bloom all year long?” -Anna Neagle At some point in the future, the Sun, the giver…

“All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.” -Carl Sagan For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. While Newton may not be the final word in mechanics anymore since…

“A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.” -Fritjof Capra For most living humans on the planet, the Standard Model and General Relativity,…

“Otherwise we are trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t exist with a system which doesn’t work.” -Philip K. Dick When it comes to the now famous “Alien Megastructures” star, the observations didn’t add up. There were huge, irregular flux dips, but not a hint of infrared radiation that would indicate a circumstellar disk. Infrared radiation…

“These galaxies are among the most massive galaxies in the universe and are believed to have rapidly formed their stars a long time ago. However, how these galaxies formed and why have they stopped forming new stars remain mysteries.” -Tao Wang, lead author on this new study There was once a time early on in…

Exoplanets: from fluke to fact

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only…

“Motions of the stars tell you how much matter there is. They don’t care what form the matter is, they just tell you that it’s there.” -Pieter van Dokkum Everything in the Universe was born with the same ratios of dark matter to normal matter: approximately 5-to-1. It shows up in everything from the cosmic…

“Because practical applications are so remote, many people assume we should not be interested. But this quest to understand the world is what defines us as human beings.” -Yuri Milner It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. First off, thanks to our generous Patreon supporters, we…

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” -H.P. Lovecraft There’s a unique relationship between everything that exists in the Universe today — the stars and galaxies, the large-scale structure, the leftover glow from the Big Bang, the expansion rate, etc.…