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.

“If I take dust in my hand and ask you if that is all the dust there is, you will answer that dust is everywhere on earth. More specks than can ever be numbered. So I can give you a handful of truth only. Besides this there are other truths. More than can ever be…

“I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.” -Ed White, at the conclusion of the first American spacewalk, June 3, 1965 Adventures are funny things: we look forward to them, we enjoy them to the fullest while we’re on them, and then we revel in the experience of having had them…

“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” -G.K. Chesterton It’s been a very busy week here at Starts With A Bang! You may have noticed that our blog’s main page has a new layout, some of you who follow me on social media may have noticed…

“When I was ten all I knew was that I hated the weird words used to describe whatever it was that was wrong with my brother — to this day I think it all happened because he was overtaken by evil spirits that got loose in that haunted house ride at the carnival that summer. It’s easier…

“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut When you think about the most amazing sights available to humanity here on Earth, you probably don’t think about leaving Earth in order to capture them. But sometimes, doing exactly that…

The Physics of a New Generation (Synopsis)

“You suddenly realize that you and your colleagues know something that no one else does… and that it is important. You’re lucky if it happens once in a lifetime. I’ve been super-lucky.” -Leon Lederman It’s the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there…

Whether you’ve been coming around to Starts With A Bang for years or whether you just discovered us a few weeks ago, chances are you’ve heard us take on the issue of dark matter — whether it exists and, if so, what its properties are — and how we think we know that. And while every…

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne It’s hard to believe that we’ve almost reached the end of Messier Monday, but with a finite number (110) objects in the catalogue, we were bound to come to…

“I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, ‘Hey, the sign says you’re open 24 hours.’ He said, ‘Yes, but not in a row.’” -Stephen Wright It seems like there’s a sign for everything, from warnings to advisories to just plain…

“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. In its own way, it was not unlike being born.” -Todd Nelson Did you follow all the action this past week over at the main Starts With A…