Weekend Diversion: A Stacked Photo Fantasy

“Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who take pictures, you know, carry a camera. Because if I did I’d have stacks and stacks and stacks of different acts.” –Edwin Starr You’ve been outside enough to know that the deepest photos of the Universe — of the night sky — aren’t quite the same thing … Read more

Ask Ethan #13: Where does matter come from?

“If you see an antimatter version of yourself running towards you, think twice before embracing.” –J. Richard Gott III It may not occur to you that it’s a special thing that the Earth and everything found on it is made of matter; it seems intuitive that it couldn’t be any other way. And yet, the … Read more

Why there are (and should be) eight planets in the Solar System

“I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to … Read more

Messier Monday: A Cluster Beyond Our Galaxy, M79

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” –Franz Kafka The night sky is our window into the Universe beyond the Solar System, and in some cases, even beyond our own galaxy! Perhaps the oldest useful collection of deep-sky objects, the Messier catalogue showcases 110 of the most prominent night sky wonders, … Read more

Weekend Diversion: Pedal power… in the office?

“Education is a continual process, it’s like a bicycle… If you don’t pedal you don’t go forward.” –George Weah I don’t know how many of you out there have an office day job, sitting hunched over at a desk for the better part of 8+ hours a day, but it’s pretty well known that it’s … Read more

Ask Ethan #12: How far is the distant Universe?

“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 … Read more

The Story of Mars

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry. Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson Oh, it’s true alright, something bad did once happen on Mars. And although there isn’t any real danger … Read more

Messier Monday: A High-Flying Cluster in the Winter Skies, M36

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” –Leonardo da Vinci Welcome back to another exciting Messier Monday here on Starts With A Bang! As Comet ISON dives towards the Sun and a nearly … Read more

Weekend Diversion: Holiday Roundup, Reviews and an out-of-this-world Giveaway!

“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.” –Fred Rogers I know it’s still the middle of November, … Read more

Ask Ethan #11: Why does gravity get weaker with distance?

“I wouldn’t know a spacetime continuum or a warp core breach if they got into bed with me.” –Patrick Stewart It’s the end of the week once again, and so it’s time for another Ask Ethan segment! There have been scores of good questions to choose from that were submitted this month alone (and you … Read more