Even while the world suffers, investing in science is non-negotiable (Synopsis)

“I am looking at the future with concern, but with good hope.” –Albert Schweitzer Every so often, the argument comes up that science is expendable. That we’re simply investing too much of our resources — too much public money — into an endeavor with no short-term benefits. Meanwhile, there’s suffering of all kinds, from poverty … Read more

Seeing One Example Of Merging Neutron Stars Raises Five Incredible Questions (Synopsis)

“O. Hahn and F. Strassmann have discovered a new type of nuclear reaction, the splitting into two smaller nuclei of the nuclei of uranium and thorium under neutron bombardment. Thus they demonstrated the production of nuclei of barium, lanthanum, strontium, yttrium, and, more recently, of xenon and caesium. It can be shown by simple considerations … Read more

Why Neutron Stars, Not Black Holes, Show The Future Of Gravitational Wave Astronomy (Synopsis)

“This is going to have a bigger impact on science and human understanding, in many ways, than the first discovery of gravitational waves. We’re going to be puzzling over the observations we’ve made with gravitational waves and with light for years to come.” -Duncan Brown Detecting black holes and the gravitational wave signals from them … Read more

Astronomy’s ‘Rosetta Stone’: Merging Neutron Stars Seen With Both Gravitational Waves And Light (Synopsis)

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying … Read more

Star Trek: Discovery Is Smart-Sounding Scientific Nonsense, Season 1, Episode 4 Recap (Synopsis)

“You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.” -Saru, from Star Trek: Discovery Science is full of great ideas and brilliant discoveries, and some of those more recent ones have made their way into the popular consciousness. TED talks, popular blogs and online magazines, and Facebook pages and internet memes have helped disseminate bits … Read more

Ask Ethan: How Many Planets Did NASA’s Kepler Miss? (Synopsis)

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them.” -Christiaan Huygens With a field-of-view encompassing 150,000 stars, NASA’s Kepler mission delivered an overwhelming prize when it came to hunting worlds beyond … Read more

The Nobel Doesn’t Mean Gravitational Wave Astronomy Is Over; It’s Just Getting Good (Synopsis)

“Wormholes are a gravitational phenomena. Or imaginary gravitational phenomena, as the case may be.” -Jonathan Nolan Yes, we detected gravitational waves, directly, for the first time! Just days after Advanced LIGO first turned on, a signal of a 36 solar mass black hole merging with a 29 solar mass black hole gave us our first … Read more