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: April 2011
“The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish. Everything is seen very clearly.” — Yuri Gagarin, 1961, commenting on his view of Earth from orbit. The first time any human being had ever seen the Earth from orbit. Exactly … Continue reading
Have you ever looked at the spot created by a laser pointer and wondered why it looks all sparkly? The fuzzy looking light pattern created by laser beams isn’t an optical illusion, it’s an actual phenomenon. It goes by the … Continue reading
Some people may remember a few months ago when I was waxing lyrical about carbon planets? Well apparently, just such a planet has been found. WASP-12b may be a gas giant and not a terrestrial planet, but the fact that … Continue reading
Have a look at the very centre of this image, and tell me what you see. A small red dot, perhaps. Nothing wildly exciting. But that would be a horrible underestimation of this particular red dot. You see, this red … Continue reading
So there’s a possibility, a slim possibility but a possibility nonetheless, that there may just be 9 planets in the solar system after all. Pluto was originally discovered on the basis that the orbits of Neptune and Uranus appeared to … Continue reading
As anyone who knows me should know, I have a certain penchant for notebooks. Call it a nerdy fixation, but there’s something extremely appealing about a well crafted notebook to carry around and fill with whatever you might feel like … Continue reading