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.

“Observing quasars is like observing the exhaust fumes of a car from a great distance and then trying to figure out what is going on under the hood.” -Carole Mundell Have you been tunes in to Starts With A Bang during this past week? The first full week of January brings with it the annual American Astronomical Society’s…

“In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like an Eden. The damage is far greater than photographs can show.” -Wilfred Burchett The news has been aflame with reports that North Korea detonated…

“I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich.” -Michael Faraday With the launch of the Fermi satellite in the late 2000s, we began observing the highest energy photons in the Universe — gamma rays —…

“The paradigm of physics — with its interplay of data, theory and prediction — is the most powerful in science.” –Geoffrey West Cosmic inflation, our earliest theory of the Universe and the phenomenon that sets up the Big Bang, didn’t just explain a number of puzzles, but made a slew of new predictions for the Universe. In the subsequent…

“Mars is much closer to the characteristics of Earth. It has a fall, winter, summer and spring. North Pole, South Pole, mountains and lots of ice. No one is going to live on Venus; no one is going to live on Jupiter.” -Buzz Aldrin When a planet passes in front of its star from our…

“Just as a Chihuahua is still a dog, these ice dwarfs are still planetary bodies. The misfit becomes the average. The Pluto-like objects are more typical in our solar system than the nearby planets we first knew.” -Alan Stern When New Horizons approached the Pluto system last year, it discovered two vastly different worlds in…

“You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.” -Samuel Beckett In 2012, astronomers announced that the nearest star system to us, the Alpha Centauri system, possessed at least one exoplanet around it. A periodic signal that recurred just every 3.24 days was consistent with an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting and gravitationally tugging on the second largest…

“Gravitational and electromagnetic interactions are long-range interactions, meaning they act on objects no matter how far they are separated from each other.” -Francois Englert One of the most spectacular predictions of Einstein’s General Relativity was the existence of gravitational lensing, whereby a large foreground mass could act as a lens, magnifying and distorting the background…

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” -Oprah And 2016 is here! So begins another great year for Starts With A Bang, and I’m so pleased you’re still here as well. Yes, I know there are some frustrations with Forbes’…

“Oh, yes — I know you. There was a time you looked at the stars and dreamed of what might be.” -Star Trek: Nemesis, spoken by Jean-Luc Picard The stars call to us through the ages, with each and every one holding the promise of a future for humanity beyond Earth. For generations, this was…