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: July 2009
Space Shuttle Endeavour had a successful launch, and is now entering Earth orbit! It’s amazing being able to watch events like these live on NASA TV. Especially when you consider that Endeavour, whose maiden flight was 17 years ago, almost … Continue reading
Yep. That’s right. An anion made up of uranium and oxygen is called a uranate. UO22-, UO32- and UO42- are all types of uranate. Wait. It gets funnier. If you were to react one of these things in the lab, … Continue reading
Well, I’m a bit more confident about this talk now, thanks to some extremely useful feedback from two of my rather wonderful colleagues. I’m still rather inexperienced at giving talks (whether public or otherwise). It’s excellent experience though, especially at … Continue reading
It seems like we’re not going to stop discovering new exoplanets anytime soon. Around one sixth of all exoplanets currently known can be observed transiting their star’s disk. Given that transits are precisely what NASA’s Kepler mission is going to … Continue reading
So I’m working on some slides for that public lecture I’m giving next week. I think things are looking good. I know plenty about all of the topics I’m planning on covering. Just a couple of things to brush up … Continue reading
Just the concept of black holes is captivating, isn’t it? No wonder they’re central to the plotlines of so many movies and sci-fi stories. The idea of an object so dense that light can’t travel fast enough to escape from … Continue reading
Anyone who’s ever asked me will know that Venus is easily my favourite planet in the solar system. Sure, the place is a corrosive acid ball with a supercritical solvent atmosphere, but I love it all the same. I guess … Continue reading
So legend has it, Newton invented the reflector telescope largely because he was so infuriated by the chromatic aberations in refractors. Having noticed the rainbow edges to objects viewed through refractor telescopes, Newton was the man who first theorised that … Continue reading
It seems like NASA’s LRO mission has inspired an awful lot of renewed interest in the Moon, recently. Bloggers, twitterers and forum runners alike have all been posting a lot of Moon-related things lately, and personally, I think it’s brilliant. … Continue reading