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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Monthly Archives: February 2008
That’s interesting… Wikipedia now has an astrochemistry category. It’s not very big… yet. I might have to head back into the world of Wiki and do some editing sometime.
In organic chemistry, a heterocycle is any ring molecule containing one or more atoms other than carbon. Adenine (mentioned in a previous post) is quite a good example of a heterocycle. A lot of these have been searched for in … Continue reading
I got my exam results back! Special Topics in Chemistry 1: Astrophysical Chemistry; Solid State Materials Chemistry Mark: 74 That, unless I’m mistaken, is a distinction! Needless to say, I’m rather happy about that score. I think it’s worth a … Continue reading
Review: Adenine Synthesis in Interstellar Space: Mechanisms of Prebiotic Pyrimidine-Ring Formation of Monocyclic HCN-Pentamers Glaser, Rainer; Hodgen, Brian; Farrelly, Dean; McKee, Elliot Astrobiology, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp. 455-470. 10.1089/ast.2006.0112 So after getting hold of this paper via interlibrary loan … Continue reading
It’s strange… So after slashing £80 million from the physics and astronomy budget, the BNSC release a document stating that space technology contributes £7 billion per annum to the British economy. That makes £80 million look like pocket money! So … Continue reading
My personal favourite galaxy, M104, the Sombrero Galaxy. Simply stunning, I’m sure you’ll agree, in this Hubble Telescope image. Discovered in 1781 by Pierre Méchain, the Sombrero is interesting because of that long dust lane you can see running across … Continue reading
Black holes are interesting things. Interesting because they make relativity start to break. Strange things happen like apparent faster-than-light motion (caused by pieces of space-time itself being pulled faster than light). At close enough distances, all things (even light) start … Continue reading
Molecular gastronomy (which amusingly, is almost a homonym with molecular astronomy), as popularised by Ferran Adrià and Heston Blumenthal, is an extremely interesting field. It’s interesting because, among other reasons, it shakes up your perception of food and how to … Continue reading
So on a slightly more serious note, it turns out that the Astronomical Unit may need to be redefined. Not really such a problem for me, but all those planetary astronomers out there might have to find a new benchmark. … Continue reading