The Night the Universe Changed

“I conclude, therefore, that this star is not some kind of comet or a fiery meteor… but that it is a star shining in the firmament itself one that has never previously been seen before our time, in any age since the beginning of the world.” –Tycho Brahe I want to take you back in … Read moreThe Night the Universe Changed

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

What is dark energy?

“Because dark energy makes up about 70 percent of the content of the universe, it dominates over the matter content. That means dark energy will govern expansion and, ultimately, determine the fate of the universe.” –Eric Linder It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about dark energy, and we were just talking about Einstein’s greatest … Read moreWhat is dark energy?

Messier Monday: The First Messier Supernova of 2013, M65

“I wouldn’t dream of working on something that didn’t make my gut rumble and my heart want to explode.” –Kate Winslet Welcome back for another Messier Monday! At the start of each week, we take a detailed look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier Catalogue. This week, we’ve got … Read moreMessier Monday: The First Messier Supernova of 2013, M65

The Universe is Alive

“Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery When you look out into the Universe, what is it that you typically think of? Do you think of reliable, fixed stars and constellations? The … Read moreThe Universe is Alive

Giving thanks for our place in the Universe

“We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.” –George Bernard Shaw All that is real about ourselves is nothing … Read moreGiving thanks for our place in the Universe

Where do Type Ia Supernovae come from?

“You have to have a canon so the next generation can come along and explode it.” –Henry Louis Gates When it comes to stars, their fates are very well known. Every single star that’s massive enough to fuse hydrogen into helium in its core will someday run out of fuel and die. The very brightest … Read moreWhere do Type Ia Supernovae come from?

One does not simply "believe" in Dark Energy…

This is an enhanced version (with some upgraded images and text) of an article I first wrote over two years ago. It is just as valid today as it was back then, only today, I have a special offer to go with it. Next week, a bunch of cosmologists and myself are getting together and … Read moreOne does not simply "believe" in Dark Energy…

How to make a Black Hole

You and I have lived on planet Earth long enough to know that if you want to launch something into space, it needs to travel fast enough to escape the pull of Earth’s gravity. Launch it with too slow of a speed, and it crashes back into Earth. Launch it with a little more speed, … Read moreHow to make a Black Hole