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“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” –Nicolaus Copernicus As we peel back the layers of information deeper and deeper into the Universe’s history, we uncover progressively more knowledge about how everything we know today came to…

“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 Enjoying what we’re putting out at Starts With A Bang? There was a whole lot that we saw this past week, including a few tour-de-force pieces on…

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard P. Feynman When Einstein’s theory was first proposed as an alternative to Newtonian gravity, there were a number of subtle but important…

“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.” -Naomi Wolf Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they’ve done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has…

“When their eyes grew dim with looking at unrevealing dials and studying uneventful graphs, they could step outside their concrete cells and renew their dull spirits in communion with the giant mechanism they commanded, the silent, sensing instrument in which the smallest packets of energy, the smallest waves of matter, were detected in their headlong,…

The Science of Powerball (Synopsis)

“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” –Fran Lebowitz Later today, the richest lottery drawing in history — the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot — will take place. While many outlets are encouraging people to purchase as many tickets as possible, it’s important to run through…

“If you take a galaxy and try to make it bigger, it becomes a cluster of galaxies, not a galaxy. If you try to make it smaller than that, it seems to blow itself apart.” -Jeremiah P. Ostriker 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it was born with no stars, no clusters…

“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 —…