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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Tag Archives: astrochemistry
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
The question of precisely what happens as stars and planets condense from vast clouds of gas is still very much an unanswered one. We have some good ideas of how things work, but really it’s difficult to be certain. Newly … Continue reading
“Of course, this identification is simply wrong.” That one remark caused a subdued but audible commotion in the audience, and a handful of shocked responses to be posted on twitter. The remark in question had been made by Jacek Krełowski, … Continue reading
An interesting thing happens to you if you study a particular field of astronomy for long enough. Certain things become familiar to you. Catalogue numbers like HD 44179 or IRC+10216° become commonplace, and the strings of numbers and letters which, … Continue reading
As The Doctor would say, “The Universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen…” That’s the theory, anyway. The interesting thing about studying, frankly, any kind of science is that you … Continue reading
This rather pretty and slightly fractalicious image is a micrograph of some naphthalene crystals, taken in polarised light. Naphthalene is an aromatic hydrocarbon, with two rings fused together (not polycyclic, just bicyclic). Interestingly, the crystal in the image looks a … Continue reading
I wrote previously about a paper on the detection of fullerenes in the planetary nebula Tc1… And I mentioned then that there was more than one group of researchers working on much the same thing. The other group have now … Continue reading
Causing quite a big stir in the astrochemical world recently is the astronomical detection of C60, more popularly known as fullerene. This is kind of a big deal. Fullerenes have been known about since the 1980s when Harry Kroto et … Continue reading
After my last post, I was asked by my friend Alice (from over at the zooniverse*) about what kind of tenuous chemical bonds might form in interstellar space, and why they might be destroyed at higher pressures. I agreed to … Continue reading