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.

“The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.” -Galileo Galilei It is, in fact, almost exactly as Galileo said. Galileo missed a few things, though, including a plethora of unclustered stars, dust, nebulae and star-forming regions as well. Want to view it all at once? Check out…

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” -William Shakespeare They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and yet, if your packing it in your lunchbox, how…

“Time is the longest distance between two places.” -Tennessee Williams I’m always stoked to give you weekly recaps at Starts With A Bang, just in case there’s anything you missed. We saw some fantastic posts this week, including two amazing contributions from Brian Koberlein and Amanda Yoho! Here’s what we saw: The timeline of the Universe (for Ask…

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our…

“Even in hindsight, I would not change one whit of the Voyager experience. Dreams and sweat carried it off. But most of all, its legacy makes us all Earth travelers among the stars.” -Charley Kohlhase It’s a taxing enough task to launch something off the surface of the Earth, escaping our planet’s gravity and finding…

Impending Doom (Synopsis)

“From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.” -Nikola Tesla Stability: it’s the hallmark of the Solar System. The motions of all the planetary bodies are regular and periodic. The paths of…

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…

From Heaven to Earth (Synopsis)

If you want to know where you are on Earth, you use a GPS, you use other terrestrial landmarks to help determine your location, or you use some well-known objects in the sky. This will get you latitude easily, but how about longitude? While there are some tricky things you can do to help yourself…

“I lie on the floor, washed by nothing and hanging on. I cry at night. I am afraid of hearing voices, or a voice. I have come to the edge, of the land. I could get pushed over.” -Margaret Atwood We had a great run with Messier Monday, followed by a fun mini-series on Mini-Movie…

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” -Stephen Hawking But did you ever stop to imagine that one of those things that Superman would be is the greatest home run hitter of all time? Have a listen to Iron & Wine‘s song, Waitin’ For A…