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“The dance between darkness and light will always remain — the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.” -C. JoyBell C. Yet what do you do when you discover a moon that itself straddles the border between light-and-dark? It…

Cosmology in the 21st Century (Synopsis)

“Every generation of physicists solves some old puzzles and finds some new ones.” -Dr. Kendrick Smith A century ago, no one could have envisioned the Universe we have today. From a Universe governed by Newton’s and Maxwell’s laws, consisting only of the Milky Way and the objects within, who could have imagined the new forces,…

When you think of dark matter, you very likely think of a halo of diffuse, unseen mass whose gravitational influence is felt by everything within our galaxy, and every galaxy or cluster out there. But what you might not consider is that this dark matter is consistently passing through Earth and every atom-and-molecule on it. Every…

“The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.” -Galileo Galilei It is, in fact, almost exactly as Galileo said. Galileo missed a few things, though, including a plethora of unclustered stars, dust, nebulae and star-forming regions as well. Want to view it all at once? Check out…

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” -William Shakespeare They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and yet, if your packing it in your lunchbox, how…

“Time is the longest distance between two places.” -Tennessee Williams I’m always stoked to give you weekly recaps at Starts With A Bang, just in case there’s anything you missed. We saw some fantastic posts this week, including two amazing contributions from Brian Koberlein and Amanda Yoho! Here’s what we saw: The timeline of the Universe (for Ask…

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our…

“Even in hindsight, I would not change one whit of the Voyager experience. Dreams and sweat carried it off. But most of all, its legacy makes us all Earth travelers among the stars.” -Charley Kohlhase It’s a taxing enough task to launch something off the surface of the Earth, escaping our planet’s gravity and finding…

Impending Doom (Synopsis)

“From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.” -Nikola Tesla Stability: it’s the hallmark of the Solar System. The motions of all the planetary bodies are regular and periodic. The paths of…

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…