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: space
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
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
This is a completely gratutous Saturn system appreciation post. Because Saturn. Images found courtesy of wanderingspace.net
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
It turns out, Pluto has blue skies. And water ice on its surface. Which, at a cursory glance might make it seem a little bit like home. But only a little bit. Some notable experts were a little puzzled to … Continue reading
Enceladus is, without question, one of the most interesting locations in our solar system, and for a lot of reasons. Quite simply, this tiny Cronian moon is a mystery. We know what we see, but we have utterly no idea … Continue reading
Humanity has accomplished an impressive amount of solar system exploration. Especially given that it wasn’t too long ago that we knew next to nothing about the other planets in orbit around the Sun, we now have high resolution images and maps … Continue reading
Carrying on with the sunrise/sunset theme, here is a gorgeous sunset on Mars over the Gale crater, captured by Curiosity’s mastcam on sol 956 (April 15th, 2015) of its mission on the surface of our neighbouring world. Curious about why sunsets … Continue reading
Discovered on Tumblr. The Milky Way is around 100000 light years in diameter, meaning that 200 light years makes about 0.002% of the Milky Way’s diameter. Perhaps the answer to Fermi’s Paradox is simply that others are out there, but … Continue reading