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.

“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.” -Oscar Wilde While the AAS meeting is about to start, I couldn’t resist sharing a song and a wonderful project with you this weekend. Have a listen to a song that talks about what it…

“Where are you going now, my love? Where will you be tomorrow? Will you bring me happiness? Will you bring me sorrow?” -Stephen Stills / Crosby, Stills & Nash We’ve made it! It’s the first Comments of the Week of the new year here at Starts With A Bang, and we’re doing our best to start it off…

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” -Jack Kerouac But how do you say goodbye to a galaxy that will…

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke Yes, it’s true, with 2015 upon us, the new year holds a number of wonderful new things. Not only for us, but for the Universe as well! Consider all the time that’s passed, leading up to today. Consider how far…

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” -Winston Churchill There was a piece that ran over this weekend in the Wall Street Journal, claiming that the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life is actually evidence pointing towards the existence of God.…

“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” -Ralph W. Sockman After millennia looking up at the Milky Way overhead, it’s only recently that we discovered our galaxy had a spiral-like structure, and that the other spirals and ellipticals in the night sky are galaxies much like our own. But how did…

“I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life — whoever you are, whatever our differences.” -John Denver So why not lead by example? If you think there’s too much carbon in the atmosphere (because there is), if you think…

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” -John Steinbeck Here we are: the final Comments of the Week of 2014 here at Starts With A…

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” -Wayne Dyer We all can think back to that moment that happened where we knew our lives would be forever different, right? To that one moment in our past where we suddenly knew what it was that we wanted to be,…

The Christmas Tree Cluster (Synopsis)

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”  -National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation With Christmas upon us, what would you ask for from the Universe? It can’t bring you tangible presents, perhaps, but it can bring you the greatest cosmic sights you’ve ever feasted upon. So why not…