Astrophysics / Physics / Science And Math

Pope Francis says Evolution and the Big Bang are Compatible with Catholicism

You’ve probably heard, the news. Pope Francis has announced that Big Bang cosmology and evolutionary theory are compatible with Catholicism and “may even be required.” This is, of course, wonderful news. It’s evidence that science and religion are not necessarily incompatible and that people of faith can modify their beliefs based on the evidence around them. But it should have been this way all along. Indeed, it originally _was_ this way. One of the people who developed Big Bang cosmology, Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître was a catholic priest who believed that his studies of physics brought him

Astrophysics / Physics / Relativity / etc.

What Space Projects Excite Me: Multi-Messenger Astronomy

The remnants of a supernova found in 1987

A few weeks ago, awesome blogger and space advocate Zain Husain asked me to contribute to a roundup post he wrote. He contacted a bunch of people (most of them much more prestigious than me) and asked them one question: What NASA or space project are you most excited about and why? You can (and should) read everybody’s response to Zain’s question on his blog, here. However, I wanted to expand on part of my answer and tell you why I’m excited about multi-messenger astronomy. Supernova Supernova It all starts with the title image above. That’s an image of

Astrophysics / Physics / Science And Math

How Planets Form

The Heavenly Spheres make music for us, The Holy Twelve dance with us, All things join in the dance! Ye who dance not, know not what we are knowing ~Gustav Holst By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. ~Genesis 3:19 Many months ago, Richard Green posted an article on Google+ that described how life on a toroidal planet would work. The discussion in the comments eventually led to speculation as to whether or

Astrophysics / Physics / Science And Math

Why Black Holes Glow: Accretion Disks

The patient accretion of knowledge, the focusing of all one’s energies on some problem in history or science, the dogged pursuit of excellence of whatever kind these are right and proper ideals for life. ~Michael Dirda Nothing can escape from a black hole, not even light. This is why we call them “black.” One would imagine, then, that black holes are black invisible menaces, lurking out in the depths of space. Surprisingly, though, black holes glow. The cover image shows a radio photograph of the center of the Milky Way. The center glow, Sagittarius A, is partly due to