Monthly Archives: March 2011

A touch of greatness

While it may seem like blogging by proxy, I feel like leaving this here. It’s a quote about Richard Feynman, and how he managed to become both a scientist and a cultural icon (a rare feat for a scientist, it … Continue reading

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Mercurial

So apparently I missed it, but the Messenger probe entered Mercury’s orbit on March 17th. This image, taken at 5:20am EDT yesterday, is the first image of Mercury, taken from the planet’s orbit. Remarkably enough. A huge number of space … Continue reading

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Venerable Star

The unassuming little speck in the centre of this sky survey image may not look like anything particularly special. But there’s something rather special about it indeed. Because this star is HE1327-2326, and it may just be the oldest known … Continue reading

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In other news, I still totally need to own one of these. Perhaps I should get a cheap squared paper notebook and construct one myself somehow… EDIT– And for anyone else who’s confused, it’s River Song’s book originally from the … Continue reading

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A hex upon you!

This is hexazine. And it probably doesn’t really exist. Denoted N6, if it does exist it would be an unstable allotrope* of nitrogen. It’s an analog of benzene, and just like benzene it would be aromatic. If it existed. Computational … Continue reading

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The blackness, the darkness forever

In many ways, we’re quite lucky to be where we are. Our lovely little blue planet circles a nice calm yellow dwarf star, in a suburban spiral arm, in the midst of the disk of a nice massive spiral galaxy. … Continue reading

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Pretty crystals

This rather pretty and slightly fractalicious image is a micrograph of some naphthalene crystals, taken in polarised light. Naphthalene is an aromatic hydrocarbon, with two rings fused together (not polycyclic, just bicyclic). Interestingly, the crystal in the image looks a … Continue reading

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Space Islands…

The asteroid belt may not be somewhere you’d expect to find skyscrapers or dim sum, but amusingly you will find a place called Hong Kong there. 3297 Hong Kong, to be precise — a main belt asteroid which orbits the … Continue reading

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That’s no moon…

While my equipment is thermally equillibriating, I actually have time for a bite sized blog entry.* And appropriately, I’ve been meaning to write a little about a bite sized “planet”… Well… I say planet. This is Ceres, the empress of … Continue reading

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Always travel with a hat.

I’m serious. Always travel with a hat. A decent hat is a traveller’s best friend, in my opinion. And bizarrely enough, I think I’m now qualified to actually say that. There are several very good reasons to carry a hat … Continue reading

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