Comments of the Week #158: from event horizons to time travel

“Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.” -Stephen Hawking As always, there’s been a new fantastic week of articles here at … Read moreComments of the Week #158: from event horizons to time travel

Ask Ethan: Why can’t I see Mercury without a telescope? (Synopsis)

“I long ago abandoned the notion of a life without storms, or a world without dry and killing seasons. Life is too complicated, too constantly changing, to be anything but what it is. And I am, by nature, too mercurial to be anything but deeply wary of the grave unnaturalness involved in any attempt to … Read moreAsk Ethan: Why can’t I see Mercury without a telescope? (Synopsis)

How To Prove Einstein’s Relativity For Less Than $100 (Synopsis)

“The experiments that we will do with the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] have been done billions of times by cosmic rays hitting the earth. … They’re being done continuously by cosmic rays hitting our astronomical bodies, like the moon, the sun, like Jupiter and so on and so forth. And the earth’s still here, the … Read moreHow To Prove Einstein’s Relativity For Less Than $100 (Synopsis)

We’ve lost sight of the most important rule in debating science (Synopsis)

“You must remember, my dear lady, the most important rule of any successful illusion: First, the people must want to believe in it.” -Libba Bray There are many times throughout history that science — and scientists — have gotten it wrong. And there are many topics today that are quite polarized, from the Big Bang … Read moreWe’ve lost sight of the most important rule in debating science (Synopsis)

Science discovers how complex life came to the Galapagos Islands (Synopsis)

“I was always amused when overtaking one of these great monsters [a tortoise], as it was quietly pacing along, to see how suddenly, the instant I passed, it would draw in its head and legs, and uttering a deep hiss fall to the ground with a heavy sound, as if struck dead. I frequently got … Read moreScience discovers how complex life came to the Galapagos Islands (Synopsis)

What’s The Largest Planet In The Universe? (Synopsis)

“A few centuries ago, the pioneer navigators learnt the size and shape of our Earth, and the layout of the continents. We are now just learning the dimensions and ingredients of our entire cosmos, and can at last make some sense of our cosmic habitat.” -Martin Rees You might think that Jupiter is the largest … Read moreWhat’s The Largest Planet In The Universe? (Synopsis)

Double Comments of the Week #157: From physics’ predictions to Michelson-Morley

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” -Walter Elliot It’s been two great weeks here at Starts With A Bang, where we’ve seen an incredible slew of new articles, new contributions, and literally hundreds of comments where nobody needed to get banned! To all of those who … Read moreDouble Comments of the Week #157: From physics’ predictions to Michelson-Morley

Ask Ethan: What Should A Black Hole’s Event Horizon Look Like? (Synopsis)

“It is conceptually interesting, if not astrophysically very important, to calculate the precise apparent shape of the black hole… Unfortunately, there seems to be no hope of observing this effect.” -Jim Bardeen Black holes were one of the first consequences of general relativity that were predicted to exist, and the more we’ve studied the Universe, … Read moreAsk Ethan: What Should A Black Hole’s Event Horizon Look Like? (Synopsis)

The Failed Experiment That Changed The World (Synopsis)

“It appears, from all that precedes, reasonably certain that if there be any relative motion between the earth and the luminiferous ether, it must be small; quite small enough entirely to refute Fresnel’s explanation of aberration.” -Albert A. Michelson In the 1880s, it was clear that something was wrong with Newton’s formulation of the Universe. … Read moreThe Failed Experiment That Changed The World (Synopsis)