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.

“I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m not going to die out. I guess I’m more like a comet then. I’m just going to keep on coming back.” -C. JoyBell C. Every year, meteor showers sizzle and fizzle, yet no matter what happens in the skies, there’s always one meteor shower that’s reliable…

“You can’t cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.” -W.C. Fields Well, it was bound to happen. A bad science story — a story of illegitimate science with all the right buzzwords — has gone viral. By now, you, too, have probable heard about the “impossible”…

Every once in a while, a scientist comes along who leaves an impression on the field so strong that all of the subsequent work on uses their results as a starting point, as a foundation. Einstein did that with relativity; Dirac did that with relativistic quantum mechanics; even Newton did that with mechanics. But what about…

“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” -Thomas Sowell Every object of the 110 in the Messier Catalogue tells its own unique story, but not every object is a true astronomical object on its own! Along with two groupings of stars — a double star (M40) and a quadruple…

“Everybody wants peace. That’s a truism. There is no point in accomplishing through war what you can accomplish through peace.” -Norman Finkelstein Say what you will about this world, and there’s an artist out there who can say it more effectively without needing to use a single word. For those who can do that, I…

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” -James Cash Penney We don’t normally have a week like this, where we not only take on the biggest topics in all of existence, but also have a ground-shaking announcement to make that alters the very fabric of Starts With A Bang!…

“In my better sense of mind, I know that I’m far from alone and far from the worst, and the earth keeps spinning. Everything keeps moving, with or without me.” -Phil Anselmo The Universe is a chaotic place, where nothing truly exists in isolation. Even if, at the moment of the Big Bang, nothing in…

“Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…” -William Shakespeare It isn’t every day that I pause to make an announcement, but it also isn’t every day that I have news quite like this! Thanks to the new Starts With A Bang digs over…

“The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.” -Richard Feynman It took 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution, billions of years of biological evolution and astronomical numbers of events unfolding exactly as they have…

“By allowing the positive ions to pass through an electric field and thus giving them a certain velocity, it is possible to distinguish them from the neutral, stationary atoms.” -Johannes Stark One of the simplest tenets of electromagnetism — the second of the fundamental forces ever discovered — is that charged particles are accelerated parallel to electric…