Supernova Condensate is a blog about our place in the Universe. Of astronomy, chemistry and life in the big bad bubble of academia.
Invader Xan is a molecular astrophysicist and part-time alien invader, who spends life looking at very small things on very large scales, and trying to better understand the chemistry of interstellar space.
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Category Archives: chemistry
So here’s an interesting little thing. Did you know that it’s possible to turn tequila into diamonds? Nope, neither did I. But it has indeed been found that a vapour from 80% proof tequila blanco, when deposited on the surface … Continue reading
In celebration of the first snowfall I’ve seen this season, here are some gratuitous pretty pictures of snowflakes – taken using an electron microscope at the Electron Microscopy Unit at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Maryland. I do love snow. I’ve … Continue reading
As was pointed out in the comments of my post about Lise Meitner the other day, I forgot to mention that she actually had the last laugh. You see, Meitner received what is arguably one of the greatest honours a … Continue reading
This week I discovered one of the most faintly hilarious things I have for some time. It’s a fairly common mistake in chemistry to mis-draw a structure so that a carbon atom appears to have five bonds. It’s a fairly … Continue reading
This is a rock. It’s been given the seemingly arbitrary name of N165. Which, as I’m sure you can guess, means it’s no ordinary piece of basalt. This rock is special because it’s on Mars, and it’s set to be … Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon, I bid you welcome to this week’s edition of Carnival of Space. With Curiosity’s daredevil landing on Mars this week, there’s a distinctly martian flavour about this carnival! Whether this is your first time … Continue reading
It’s safe to say that we all know the phrase “primordial soup.” An idea originally put forward by J.B.S. Haldane in 1929, writers have been waxing lyrical about this proverbial soup from which life arose, for decades now. The phrase … Continue reading
Remember that puzzle about the martian methane? No? Well, if you’d like a refresher, you may be interested to take a glance at my latest article over on Australian Science. On methane, Mars, and more… Image: Arabia Terra, Mars – ESA/DLR/FU … Continue reading
Just one more thing… Anyone who’s been camping will likely be familiar with the so-called “chlorine tablets” which can be used to purify water for drinking. Just so that we’re clear here, these tablets may contain a chemical compound which … Continue reading
Every now and again, I hear something which makes me so aghast that I really don’t know what to think. The so called “Miracle Mineral Solution” which I heard of today was exactly one of those things. Aghast, perhaps, but … Continue reading