Essays on Cosmology

This web page contains a collection of articles written by Dr. Sten Odenwald, and published in Sky and Telescope magazine, Astronomy magazine, and others. Virtually all of the questions that the general public has about cosmology can be answered by reading one or another of these essays.

My book, Patterns in the Void:Why nothing is important, explains some of the exciting, and troubling, aspects of modern cosmology. You might find this the right book for you!!!

This page is located at

Astronomy Cafe


Questions and Answers from Ask the Astronomer

180 questions related to Big Bang Theory and the Early Universe

220 questions about the Expansion of Space


My Popular Science Articles (1983 - 2007):

 If you are interested in learning more about various aspects of Big Bang theory that have to do with the conditions in the universe just 'before' and just after the Big Bang.

Beyond the Big Bang (Astronomy, May 1987)
The Planck Era (Astronomy, March 1984)


If you want to learn more about how physicists and astronomers are beginning to view the concept of a vacuum

The Decay of the False Vacuum (Astronomy, November 1983)
Does Space Have More Than 3 Dimensions?( Astronomy, November 1984)
Space-Time : The Final Frontier ( Sky and Telescope, February 1996)
What if String Theory is Wrong (Astronomy, February 2007)


If you want to learn more about the so-called cosmological constant introduced originally by Albert Einstein as a 'fudge factor' to make the universe non- expanding.

The Cosmological Constant : Einstein's Fudge Factor (Sky and Telescope, April 1991)


Here are two essays about what it means for the universe to expand, and how many educators and text book authors continue to get the description of it wrong

The Cosmological Redshift Explained (Sky and Telescope, February 1993)
The Big Bang was NOT a Fireworks Display!! (Washington Post newspaper, 'Horizon' Section, May 14, 1997)