The only time it's safe to put a star atop your tree

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” –National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Ahh, Christmas. It’s easy to forget how much the invention of the light bulb in 1879 reduced the number of tree fires in people’s homes. It was a mere three years later that people began … Read moreThe only time it's safe to put a star atop your tree

Messier Monday: The 'Little Sister' Cluster, M46

“A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite.” –Elizabeth Fishel With 110 deep-sky wonders to choose from in the Messier catalogue, our long-running series on Messier Monday promises to keep us busy for some time to come! As we’ve finally passed the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, many new spectacular sights … Read moreMessier Monday: The 'Little Sister' Cluster, M46

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

Messier Monday: The Closest Messier Original, M39

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.” –Abraham Lincoln It might be Veterans Day / Armistice Day all around the world, but it’s still Messier Monday here on Starts With A Bang! We may have been fighting wars for all of human history, but nearly all of … Read moreMessier Monday: The Closest Messier Original, M39

Messier Monday: The Last 'Original' Object, M103

“Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” –Winston Churchill To kick off every week for nearly a year now, we’ve begun it with Messier Monday, where we take an in-depth look at the 110 deep-sky objects that make up … Read moreMessier Monday: The Last 'Original' Object, M103

How to find your very own supernova

“Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly because I have to – I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova … Read moreHow to find your very own supernova

Messier Monday: A Lost-and-Found Star Cluster, M48

“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.” –Marcel Proust Welcome to another Messier Monday, where each week we take an in-depth look at one of the 110 deep sky objects that make up the Messier Catalogue! Messier was not the first person to try and make an accurate, large catalog of deep sky objects, … Read moreMessier Monday: A Lost-and-Found Star Cluster, M48

Messier Monday: A Rich Open Star Cluster, M37

“Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.” –Benjamin Franklin Welcome to Messier Monday, where each week we take a journey into one of the 110 objects in the Messier Catalogue of non-cometary deep-sky objects. Ranging … Read moreMessier Monday: A Rich Open Star Cluster, M37

At the end of their lives, stars glow hotter than ever!

“A colour is a physical object as soon as we consider its dependence, for instance, upon its luminous source, upon other colours, upon temperatures, upon spaces, and so forth.” –Ernst Mach Our Sun, like all Sun-like stars, will come to the end of its life someday. All the hydrogen fuel in its core will eventually … Read moreAt the end of their lives, stars glow hotter than ever!

Where do Supermassive Black Holes Come From?

“Black holes, which have no memory, are said to contain the earliest memories of the universe, and the most recent, too, while at the same time obliterating all memory by obliterating all its embodiments. Such paradoxes characterize these strange galactic monsters, for whom creation is destruction, death life, chaos order.” –Robert Coover Our Milky Way, … Read moreWhere do Supermassive Black Holes Come From?