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.

“There are stars leaving the Milky Way, and immense gas clouds falling into it. There are turbulent plasmas writhing with X- and gamma-rays and mighty stellar explosions. There are, perhaps, places which are outside our universe. The universe is vast and awesome, and for the first time we are becoming a part of it.” -Carl…

“You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.” -Saru, from Star Trek: Discovery Science is full of great ideas and brilliant discoveries, and some of those more recent ones have made their way into the popular consciousness. TED talks, popular blogs and online magazines, and Facebook pages and internet memes have helped disseminate bits…

“It’s easier to hold onto a bad idea if you never share it, and it’s harder to defend one if you let it out.” -Victor LaValle After catching up with a big double-dose of our comments last week, Starts With A Bang! is here again with the latest! For those of you looking forward to my newest book,…

“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.” -Christiaan Huygens With a field-of-view encompassing 150,000 stars, NASA’s Kepler mission delivered an overwhelming prize when it came to hunting worlds beyond…

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” -Ann Landers The history of physics is littered with brilliant ideas that have revolutionized how we look at the Universe… and…

“There’s no obvious reason to assume that the very same rare properties that allow for our existence would also provide the best overall setting to make discoveries about the world around us. We don’t think this is merely coincidental.” -Guillermo Gonzalez Beginning in 1979, a new idea arose in theoretical physics, seeking to improve upon…

“Something is happening here and this is going to have an impact.” -Robert Dijkgraaf, on Verlinde’s work There are many attempts out there to reconcile the quantum field theories that describe the electromagnetic and nuclear forces with general relativity, which describes the gravitational force. Certain questions, about gravitational properties in strong fields and on small…

“Wormholes are a gravitational phenomena. Or imaginary gravitational phenomena, as the case may be.” -Jonathan Nolan Yes, we detected gravitational waves, directly, for the first time! Just days after Advanced LIGO first turned on, a signal of a 36 solar mass black hole merging with a 29 solar mass black hole gave us our first…

“Well, I walked into Building 20 and looked in at the various little labs. There was a bunch of people doing something that looked to me to be sort of interesting, and since I knew all this electronics, I asked them, “Look, can you use a guy?” And I sold myself off as a technician…

“If I die trying but I’m inadequate to the task to make a course change in the evolution of this planet…okay I tried. The fact is I tried. How many people are not trying. If you knew that every breath you took could save hundreds of lives into the future had you walked down this…