Q & A

Category archives for Q & A

Our Galaxy’s Next Supernova

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” -Johannes Kepler So said the man who, in 1604, discovered the supernova that was the last to be seen, visually, within our…

Giving Thanks, and Giving Back

“Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.” -Henry Ford Here in the United States, it’s American Thanksgiving, our annual harvest festival. Traditionally, it’s the one day out of the year where we spend it with the people most important to us, and give genuine…

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” -Stephen Hawking You’re probably familiar with the standard picture of our Universe. You’ve heard it all before: that the Universe we know of — stars, planets,…

Celebrating 50 years of humans in space!

“I could have gone on flying through space forever.” -Yuri Gagarin It was April 12th, 1961, or fifty years ago today, that Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to leave Earth — the ground, the atmosphere, the stratosphere — and to soar into outer space. What was unimaginable just half-a-century ago has become an…

Science > Bill O’Reilly

“How’d the moon get here? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How’d the moon get here? How’d the sun get there? How’d it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn’t have it?” -Bill O’Reilly Once upon a time, humans…

Can You Get Something For Nothing?

“One creates from nothing. If you try to create from something you’re just changing something. So in order to create something you first have to be able to create nothing.” -Werner Erhard One of the oldest adages in existence is you can’t get something for nothing, as over a million websites will tell you, including…

“The size of the universe is no more depressing than the size of a cow.” -David Deutsch But it is bizarre, I’ll give you that. The most common scientific question I get asked is how, if the Universe is 13.7 billion years old, and the speed limit of the Universe is the speed of light,…

What is Science? What is Hype?

“The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.” -Stephen Jay Gould Tuesday, I talked about an alternative theory to cosmic inflation. Whereas cosmic inflation gives you a uniform, flat Universe, that’s the…

Black Hole Q&A

“Black holes are where God divided by zero.” -Stephen Wright Yesterday, I told you about all the evidence for the Black Hole at the center of our galaxy. In particular, we see multiple stars orbiting a single point that emits no light of any type at all. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the comments became very active.…

Advice for Young Aspiring Scientists

“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” -Antisthenes As many of you know, in addition to news about cosmology, space, astronomy, and physics, I’m also heavily involved in education. This includes, in various stages, teaching, curriculum design, and mentoring students. But I got the following…