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: stars
The Universe is old. 13.798 billion years old, to be precise (give or take about 37 million years or so). That’s so old, it’s genuinely a little tricky to wrap your head around – 200 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed … Continue reading
The weather here on our little blue world has, of late, been somewhat turbulent. Storms lash my hometown on the UK’s Southern coast, Australia slowly bakes under oppressive heat, North America is deep frozen by the errant polar vortex, and … Continue reading
In honour of Ada Lovelace day, I thought I should write a little about a personal hero of mine. The lady in this picture is none other than Annie Jump Cannon, responsible for one of the most important and well … Continue reading
So an article I wrote for Discovery last week revisited the idea of whether life could survive under a red sun, and what challenges it might face. Thing is, while red dwarfs may be exceptionally cantankerous little things, it seems … Continue reading
If you take a look around our solar system, it’s sometimes enough to make you feel slightly lonely. As far as we know, the only planet with any kind of life on it is ours. We certainly haven’t seen any … Continue reading
I was rather gratified the other day, to learn that I’m not boring for being a fan of Orion. Apparently, several other people pick Orion as their favourite constellation, ever vigilant in the skies from almost anywhere on the planet. … Continue reading
There is a planet in the Alpha Centauri system. An Earth-sized planet★. In the Alpha Centauri system. I don’t know about anyone else, but to me this is huge huge news! As many a space enthusiast will tell you, the … Continue reading
Dreamed up by the British Interplanetary Society in the 1970s, Daedalus was an idea for an unmanned interstellar space probe. It was to be powered by a nuclear fusion rocket, using a rocket engine bell larger than St Paul’s Cathedral. Continue reading
Our sun sits in a rather lonely part of the Milky Way. Here in our quiet little home in a mundane part of the Orion Spur, a tiny offshoot from one of the galaxy’s spiral arms, we have few neighbours. … Continue reading