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.
Buy me a coffee?
Monthly Archives: November 2009
So I have a nice little shortlist of papers which I might present at next week’s journal club. In fairness, it’s still not a very short shortlist, so I should probably dismiss a couple of these before I offer them … Continue reading
New Zealand born photographer Max Alexander has taken a truly fantastic set of portraits of a number of astronomers. These are just two of them — go to his website and have a look at the rest! With thanks to … Continue reading
It’s been known for a while now that there’s no clear boundary between a very large planet and a very small star. 1995 saw the discovery of the curious brown dwarf stars. Stellar inbetweeners, too small to be true stars … Continue reading
I bookmark a lot of things, some of which prove to be more useful than others. In particular, I’ve been looking recently at resources pertaining to stellar spectra and exoplanets. Here are a few of the more interesting links I’ve … Continue reading
All written up and cunningly disguised as a paper, this appeared on arXiv a few days ago. It’s a write-up of a lecture given at a recent summer school in Italy, by Dr. Christian Iliadis (Uni. North Carolina), covering some … Continue reading
I have a lot of respect for planet hunters. It’s not an easy job. Discovering and confirming the existence of a planet requires a lot of patience, and I’d imagine it must be frustrating at times. So I’m sure a … Continue reading
I am one of 18-35% of the human population with a photic sneeze reflex! If I step out of a dark building into full bright sunlight, it makes me sneeze. It always has. When I was a kid, I used … Continue reading
I fear that even contemplating writing the tirade of geekery that’s about to ensue might forever concrete my reputation as a mad scientist. Although I don’t really have a reputation as a mad scientist. Yet. This started out as a … Continue reading
Stars like blowing bubbles. Especially when they get old. TT Cygni here, is no exception. Except that bubbles like this one are rather a lot more lethal than the kind you’d blow with soapy water. An ageing giant, TT Cygni … Continue reading
Thermodynamics may be very good at putting freshers to sleep during Monday morning lectures, but it really is a fundamental piece of modern physics. Bluntly, you don’t argue with thermodynamics. Originally developed to increase the efficiency of steam engines, the … Continue reading