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: December 2008
Since they were first discovered in 1952, blue stragglers have baffled astronomers. Appearing strangely youthful amid their ageing brethren, many now believe blue stragglers are formed when two smaller stars merge. There is, however, one theory which is rather more… … Continue reading
28 is approximately the number of Earth years that make one Saturn year. 28 is a happy number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, a centred nonagonal number, a harmonic divisor number, the fourth magic number and the second perfect … Continue reading
An article in the Telegraph (from last month) was pointed out to me the other day about someone who could just be one of the most important people in physics today. Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the current head of the … Continue reading
I miss the sea. Nottingham is about as landlocked as you can be while staying in England. Just like the darkness, I used to take the sea for granted somewhat, back when I lived here. Sometimes it’s nice just to … Continue reading
Santa was extremely good to me this year. Highlights from my list of goodies are… A new pair of black and red stripey gloves A shiny chrome USB memory stick An adoption certificate for a grape vine (including a tour … Continue reading
As many an astrochemist will tell you without hesitation, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are important molecules to study, because they’re directly relevant to the origins of life. We tend to repeat this like a mantra, and perhaps we don’t always fully … Continue reading
Before going to bed last night, I decided to step outside briefly, for some fresh air. Night time out here is pleasantly tranquil and blissfully dark. I never realised I’d miss the dark as much as I evidently do. Night … Continue reading
Ah, the humble proton. Simple, stable, and able to drastically affect the chemistry of other molecules — and nowhere more so than in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). H2 molecules, for instance are readily protonated in dense interstellar clouds, forming H3+, … Continue reading
Ooo! Carnival of Space #84 is live. This week, courtesy of Next Big Future. Go! Read! Procrastinate! Enjoy!