Author Archives: Invader Xan

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.

Lurking Giant

Well this is quite interesting. There’s some latest news about the possibility of a giant planet lurking on the outskirts of our solar system. The near mythological “planet X” which astronomers have been hunting for for decades. This latest study … Continue reading

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❝ Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ❞ William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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How to write a proposal – part II

A few months ago, I wrote a little about how to put together a research proposal. At the time, I acknowledged that I was no expert and had a lot still to learn. I still acknowledge this, perhaps now even … Continue reading

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“She is an astronomer”

Today marks the 100th anniversary of women being allowed membership into the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in the UK. While this is most certainly a thing to celebrate, one thing about this still gives me pause. It’s only been 100 years. … Continue reading

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Comic by Hannah Blumenreich. Happy Caturday!

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An item on my wish list: See a sunrise from orbit. Earth’s atmosphere scatters out the blue from sunlight. The scattered light makes the atmosphere look blue, but the sunlight has all of its blue photons scattered out from it, giving it … Continue reading

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Winter Wonderland

A few days ago, the Cassini spacecraft, 1.61 billion kilometres away in orbit around Saturn, made its closest ever pass of Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus. It flew by around 49 km above Enceladus’ south pole – perilously close by astronomical standards. … Continue reading

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Painted leaves

Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon, I’d like to introduce you to Chrissy Sparks, – who creates some really quite marvellous space art, which she sells in her store on Etsy. You can also get a slightly more behind-the-scenes look … Continue reading

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土星

This is a completely gratutous Saturn system appreciation post. Because Saturn. Images found courtesy of wanderingspace.net

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Postcards from Pluto

New Horizons passed Pluto some time ago, but it’s still slowly dripping data back to us. The tiny craft wasn’t optimised for data transfer, so its hard drives are still packed to the gills with exciting discoveries which we’ll all … Continue reading

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