Planets, Stars, Galaxies, Groups and Clusters are all real. But Superclusters? They’re nothing more than optical illusions. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.” –Virginia Woolf […]
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Stars are born, live and die, but their light tells a remarkable story that changes over time. “Aristotle taught that stars are made of a different matter than the four […]
And are there independent ways to check? “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” –Stanislaw Jerzy Lec Each week at Starts With A Bang, […]
How we’re still, only now, just discovering the closest stars to Earth. “As a boy I believed I could make myself invisible. I’m not sure that I ever could, but […]
A huge percentage of our Universe is blocked by the plane of our own Milky Way. Here’s how we’re finally seeing what’s there! “I am undecided whether or not the […]
And why do some of them appear to be right here in our own galaxy, which formed much later? Image credit: DSS, of SMSS J031300.36–670839.3, candidate for “oldest star.” “Let […]
When the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting The Annunciation in 1899, they became the first American museum to acquire a work by an African-American artist. That purchase announced a new era of recognition of African-American art and artists just as much as the painting itself announced a new style of art moving away from stereotypical “black” scenes towards a freedom of aesthetic choice. Persons of color could express themselves in any way, even abstraction, but faced the new problem of remaining true to themselves at the same time. The new exhibition Represent: 200 Years of African American Art and accompanying catalogue show how these artists faced the challenges posed to them by art and society and provide all of us with a fascinating guide to facing African-American history—tragic, tenacious, transcendent—through its art.
The largest structures in the Universe are phantasms, in the process of self-destructing. Image credit: NASA, N. Benitez (JHU), T. Broadhurst (Racah Institute of Physics/The Hebrew University), H. Ford (JHU), […]
We observe our Universe as it is today: 13.8 billion years old and full of galaxies. What would we see 100 billion years from now? “It is always wise to look […]
With all the matter-and-energy so close together and so dense at the moment of the Big Bang, why didn’t it recollapse? Image credit: Mark A. Garlick / University of Warwick. […]
The stars, gas and dust of our own galaxy dominates our night sky. But what secrets does the Universe hold beyond that? “Who are we? We find that we live on […]
Climate change deniers lost an important ally in 2011, as Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller recently switched sides. James Lawrence Powell dissects the curious case of this former climate skeptic.
Author James Lawrence Powell explains the case of the physicist Richard Muller, who used to be critical about the science behind global warming. Muller conducted a study funded by the […]
Author James Lawrence Powell explains the case of the physicist Richard Muller, who used to be critical about the science behind global warming.
Are today's climate change deniers waging a war on science? A new book by James Lawrence Powell spills the dirt on the new war on science.
While walking in Fairmount Park in 1872 with his minister father, 12-year-old Henry Ossawa Tanner saw a man painting and became curious about art. His family fed that curiosity, which […]
Public opinion about climate change, observes the New York Times’ Andrew Revkin, can be compared to “waves in a shallow pan,” easily tipped with “a lot of sloshing but not […]