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Exoplanets: from fluke to fact

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only…

“Motions of the stars tell you how much matter there is. They don’t care what form the matter is, they just tell you that it’s there.” -Pieter van Dokkum Everything in the Universe was born with the same ratios of dark matter to normal matter: approximately 5-to-1. It shows up in everything from the cosmic…

“Because practical applications are so remote, many people assume we should not be interested. But this quest to understand the world is what defines us as human beings.” -Yuri Milner It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. First off, thanks to our generous Patreon supporters, we…

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” -H.P. Lovecraft There’s a unique relationship between everything that exists in the Universe today — the stars and galaxies, the large-scale structure, the leftover glow from the Big Bang, the expansion rate, etc.…

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” –Alexander Graham Bell In 1859, the Sun surprisingly increased in brightness so significantly for just a brief while that it was noticeable from Earth during the day. Less than 24 hours later, aurorae were visible…

“Our existence in this place, this microscopic corner of the cosmos, is fleeting. With utter disregard for our wants and needs, nature plays out its grand acts on scales of space and time that are truly hard to grasp. Perhaps all we can look to for real solace is our endless capacity to ask questions…

“To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field sown with millet, only one grain will grow.” -Metrodorus of Chios Later tonight, the European Southern Observatory is expected to make an announcement, and the smart money is on the discovery of…

“Astronomers are greatly disappointed when, having traveled halfway around the world to see an eclipse, clouds prevent a sight of it; and yet a sense of relief accompanies the disappointment.” –Simon Newcomb Next year, on August 21st, 2017, millions of Americans will delight in the first total solar eclipse to go from coast-to-coast in 99…

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of…

 “Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle!” -Sanya Richards-Ross It’s been another big week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories covering the Universe near and far. I myself was on vacation, but thanks to our generous Patreon supporters, I was able to put in the resources to get a week…