In a land far far away…

On September 4, scientists observed the most distant explosion in the universe. The gamma-ray burst (a really bright and powerful explosion that happens when a huge star dies and collapses in a black hole) happened 12.6 billion light-years from Earth, which means 12.6 billion years ago, just 900 million years after the birth of our … Read more…

No Hollywood ending (Or the unbearable fragility of the most powerful nation on Earth)

I have had a really hard time writing about Katrina. It’s hard to write about things one doesn’t understand, and there is a lot I don’t understand about what happened there before, during, and after the hurricane. The effect of Katrina was predicted. Why did it take so long to react? I do not understand … Read more…

The lonely universe

About 100 billion years from now, all but the closest of galaxies will be dragged away by the swelling space at faster-than-light speed and so would be impossible for us to see, regardless of the power of telescopes used. If these ideas are right, then in the far future the universe will be a vast, … Read more…