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Have you ever thought about what “nothing” truly is? We used to think about it in terms of simply removing all the particles from a given region of space, which is a pretty intuitive definition of nothing. But quantum physics is notorious for defying our intuition. When we take a look at this “empty” space,…

“I think if I had to choose, I would rather have gravity instead of zero gravity. It’s fun for a while, but I’d rather live on Earth.” -Kevin A. Ford By now, you’ve probably had a lot of opportunities to think about what holds our Universe together: the incredible force of gravitation. Although it’s the…

“He who would search for pearls must dive below.” -John Dryden Sometimes falling can be a painful thing, as Ween might sing you in their ominous composition, Falling Out, but sometimes it can be absolutely wonderful, like when the Hubble space telescope allows you to “fall in” to the closest large galaxy to us: Andromeda. Thanks to…

“Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I’m looking to have a conference… not until I get the table though” -@kanyewest on Twitter If you noticed we had a busier week than normal here at Starts With A Bang, you weren’t alone. But there’s a good reason: the first week in January marks/highlights the annual American…

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” -Kurt Vonnegut The Universe is expanding and cooling, with all but a few of the closest galaxies receding from our view. In fact,…

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” -Dream Hampton As any scientist knows, it’s true that no scientific theory, no matter how well-tested, how validated, or how universally applicable it is, can ever be 100% proven. But is this a flaw, or is it a feature…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…

“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” -Arthur C. Clarke For the past three years, Kepler has been looking at 150,000 stars, searching for planetary transits. The science haul has been huge, but mostly larger planets close in to their parent stars. Nevertheless, a few…

Why do galaxies have black eyes? (Synopsis)

“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.” -William Wordsworth You’ve seen the amazing photos of spiral galaxies, with the vast, sweeping arms, the massive, central bulges and the great underdense regions in between the arms. As you move farther…

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” -Charles Dickens Just… go. I can’t even do it justice in a synopsis, or with 600 pixel image widths. This was the original. Go…