expansion

Tag archives for expansion

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” -Robert Frost Depending on…

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” -Terry Pratchett It’s the end of the week once again, and so let’s have a go at another Ask Ethan! Perhaps inspired by a great…

What Happened Before The Big Bang?

“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.” -Bertolt Brecht One of the most frequent questions I get about the Universe — as a cosmologist — isn’t quite about the Big Bang in and of itself. The Big Bang is a remarkable…

If it comes back to you, it’s yours!

“Not even light can escape such hollowing, this huge mass in a small space. Even the Milky Way with its open arms is said to have a black hole at its heart.” -Susan B.A. Somers-Willett Our Milky Way is home to us all. With its hundreds of billions of stars, massive spiral arms, dust lanes,…

Another Trip Around the Sun

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” -Satchel Paige Today marks another year and another trip around the Sun for me. For you, and me, and everything on Earth that makes it through another year on this world, there’s a whole lot we get to experience. Some things are…

“Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is just opinion.” -Democritus of Abdera When you take a look out at the Universe, past the objects in our own solar system, beyond the stars, dust and nebulae within our own galaxy, and out into the void of intergalactic space, what is it that you see? What…

Astronomers make use of… molecules?

When I think of molecules, I think of Conan O’Brien doing his skit where he plays Moleculo… the molecular man! I don’t think of astronomy, and I certainly don’t think of the leftover radiation from the big bang (known as the cosmic microwave background)! But somebody over at the European Southern Observatory put these two…

So, what’s the deal with this one? startswithabang.com reader Scott Stuart asks the following question: I was reading “The First Three Minutes” last night and came across an interesting section about blackbody radiation and energy density. The author states that as the universe expands, the number of photons running around (in the CMB, for example)…

Is Dark Energy the same as Acceleration?

In a comment on my last post, What is Dark Energy, Kendall asks the following, which is such a good one I think it deserves its own post: I thought the expansion was accelerating? Aren’t you saying that it is on its way down to 85% of its current rate? Sounds like expansion is slowing,…

What is Dark Energy?

You’ve all heard these words before. Dark Energy. But what is it, and why are we stuck with it? Let me start by telling you a story. Imagine, for a minute, that you have a candle. You know everything about this candle, including how bright it is and how far away it is from you.…