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Observing Night (Synopsis)

“For my confirmation, I didn’t get a watch and my first pair of long pants, like most Lutheran boys. I got a telescope. My mother thought it would make the best gift.” -Wernher von Braun A telescope is only as good, mind you, as the amount of time you spend looking through it. And for…

“In the year 1456 … a Comet was seen passing Retrograde between the Earth and the sun… Hence I dare venture to foretell, that it will return again in the year 1758.” -Edmond Halley When ESA’s Rosetta mission “caught” its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August, 2014, one of its main science goals was to watch…

“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” -Fran Lebowitz It’s a thought that’s occurred to almost everyone at some point or another: what each of us would do if we happened to hit the lottery Jackpot. Have a listen to Camper Van Beethoven sing about…

“Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together.” -Joan Jett We’ve reached the end of yet another week here at Starts With A Bang, which means it’s time to take a look back at everything we’ve covered. It…

“We like to admit to only that which already glows, although it is nobler to support brightness before it glows, not afterwards.” -Dejan Stojanovic When we look back to greater and greater distances in the Universe, we’re looking back to earlier and earlier times as well. At some point, we can see far enough back…

“According to the special theory of relativity nothing can travel faster than light, so that if light cannot escape, nothing else can either. The result would be a black hole: a region of space-time from which it is not possible to escape to infinity.” -Stephen Hawking The idea of a black hole, of a region…

The Two Big Bangs (Synopsis)

“These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.” -Fred Hoyle It’s making headlines everywhere we go: the recent paper stating that quantum equations prove that there is no Big Bang. Is that even possible? Honestly, it…

When you think of thermodynamics, and how energy, temperature, heat and entropy are all related in a system full of particles so numerous you could never hope to count them all in a thousand lifetimes, there are only a few names that stand out as titans in the field. Boltzmann and Ehrenfest are perhaps two…

“Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive, half wishing they were dead to save the shame. The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow; They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats, and flare up bodily, wings and all. What then? Who’s sorry for a gnat or girl?” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning As…

“When I look at the moon I do not see a hostile, empty world. I see the radiant body where man has taken his first steps into a frontier that will never end.” -David Scott, Commander, Apollo 15 The Moon is perhaps the oldest sight known to humans and our animal ancestors here on Earth, with its…