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: May 2012
Les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs. Et les temps sont durs pour les astronomes aussi. The UK has been determined to drop any and all astronomical operations in Hawaii ever since that fateful research repriositisation in 2009. I just … Continue reading
This illustration was made by a marvellous chap named Alan B, and it’s an illustration of a contribution I made to an equally marvellous project going on right now, called Science140. Science140 is a twitter-based project aiming to collate scientific … Continue reading
Lots of plants have a set of cleverly contrived natural defences, carefully honed by millenia of evolution to be repulsive to animals which might want to try and eat them. Unfortunately for those plants, human beings are funny creatures who … Continue reading
A supermassive black hole is rather like a gravitational version of the Incredible Hulk. Massive, mean, able to take on anything thrown at it, and virtually unstoppable. While the smaller black holes may form when a massive but otherwise normal … Continue reading
So I was wandering around the department where I work a few days ago and I happened to stop by a noticeboard, where I found this. Which made me double take. That particular chaotic ensemble of phenols looked strangely familiar … Continue reading
Feast your ears on these curious musical tones: Those little glissandos you’re hearing are known as whistlers. They’re natural radio signals created in Earth’s atmosphere which occur just at the right frequencies to be converted directly into sounds we can … Continue reading
Welcome to the all new Supernova Condensate! (Now, complete with working domain name!) So I’ve migrated to WordPress. Because really, I’m fed up of Livejournal for a lot of reasons. But I shaln’t whinge. Oh no. In any case, I’m … Continue reading
It’s caturday. So here’s a picture of a glow in the dark kitten. This picture was taken under a blue light, presumably of sufficiently short wavelength to cause the green fluorescent protein in the kitten’s fur to fluoresce. Note that … Continue reading
Chocolate. Take a minute to think about enjoying a delicious piece of your favourite chocolate, won’t you? That moment when you bite and it snaps into your mouth with a light crunch, and the rich warm flavour of it starts … Continue reading