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: March 2008
Everyone knows the Deathstar. By now, it’s surely an iconic depiction of power and technological potential. As such, it’s a pretty good example of the bizarre field of astroengineering. In other words, designing and engineering objects on an astrophysical scale. … Continue reading
Interestingly, the reactions that happen in and around stellar atmospheres are remarkably like the reactions that happen in flames…
Capsaicin is a personal favourite molecule of mine. This little compound is responsible for the spiciness in chillies. Spiciness is actually rated according to the Scoville scale – a unit based rating system for assessing the spiciness of food. Pure … Continue reading
Our solar system is hypothesised to be surrounded entirely by the Oort cloud — A vast spherical shell of icy dust that extends almost one quarter of the way to proxima centauri. Past the Sun’s heliosphere and exposed to the … Continue reading
AB Aurigae is a star that should be interesting to any planet formation theorists out there. At a mere 3 million years old, it’s still surrounded by a thick disc of dust, which is thought to be planet forming. Now, … Continue reading
I’ve been saying they should do this for years. It turns out, other people have been thinking the same thing. There’s talk of setting up a conservation area on the moon’s far side. Being remarkably well shielded from all the … Continue reading
Congrats! You could survive for 1 minute 29 seconds! In the first 30 seconds any fluid on the surface of your body would begin to boil due to lack of ambient pressure, this includes the saliva on your tongue and … Continue reading
Any wannabe molecular gastronomer should know what the Maillard reaction is. All chefs use it, often without realising. It’s one of the essential reactions in cooking and is responsible for almost every (non-artificial) cooked flavour you’ve ever tasted. Essentially, all … Continue reading
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