Astronomy

Tag archives for Astronomy

Alright, startswithabang-ers, Ben, my most avid commenter, saw me online while I was eating breakfast this morning, and pointed me to this new press release. Now, before you get started clicking on everything, the guy who the release is about is Brian Gaensler, who’s a really nice guy, lives in Australia, whom I met at…

How to Build a Home in Space

Ever get sick of your life here on Earth? What about really getting away from it all; what if you wanted to live in space, orbiting the Earth, away from everyone. (At least for awhile, like a summer home.) What would you need to do it, and what would it consist of? I propose an…

Brain-damaged arguments and Boltzmann Brains

Okay, so I got a question from my friend Tamara, who’s a high school teacher in my hometown of New York City. It concerns a recent article she read on the front page of the New York Times about something funny that us scientists are calling Boltzmann Brains. I’ve read this article three times since…

Question: The Milky Way to an outsider…?

I got a great question earlier today from my buddy Zrinka, and decided to figure out the answer for her, and also for myself. She asks: Ethan, is it possible to know, or better to say to imagine somehow how our galaxy looks from outside? What a simple-sounding question! After all, we know what the…

One of the perks of being a postdoc at a place like the University of Arizona, one of the top places in the US for astronomy, is that we get a number of really interesting visitors. Today we got paid a visit by Tommaso Treu, an astronomer at UC Santa Barbara. He spoke to us…

First question!

Dave, one of my online chessplaying buddies, asked me this question (edited for appropriateness): Now this speeding up of the expansion of the universe: Do I understand correctly that one of the theories to explain why relates to “dark matter”? In real simple terms, what in the dark blue blazes is dark matter, and why…

What is that Background?

Taking a look at the background picture, and wondering what it is?  It’s the Bullet Cluster, also known to astronomers as 1E 0657-56. What’s so special about it? Well, these are actually two galaxy clusters that are in the process of merging, and are colliding with one another! Although this is very cool (and rare) in…