Author Archives: Invader Xan

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.

In light of everything that’s going on in the world right now, Carl Sagan’s words seem somehow more poigniant than ever.

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木星

So here’s an interesting little fact. In Chinese and Japanese, Jupiter is known as 木星 which means “wood star” – and I think that’s a wonderful name for it! Interestingly, the name is pure coincidence. Just as our name for the … Continue reading

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Why Michael Gove is a reprehensible spam faced tool bag

The internet is such a fickle beast. After staying up well past my bedtime yesterday to live tweet Juno being inserted into Jupiter’s orbit, I achieved a thin slice of tinned internet fame for tweeting at UK politician Michael Gove to call … Continue reading

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Ludicrous Speed

So Juno is now safely in orbit around Jupiter, and NASA scientists are triumphant, celebrating it as the “hardest thing NASA’s ever done.” They may not be wrong. No spacecraft has ever passed so close to Jupiter before. Jupiter’s radiation … Continue reading

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Like shooting womp rats

It’s pretty late in my currnet part of the world. But all the same, I’m debating whether or not I should sleep at a sensible time. Mostly because it’s not every day that humanity sends robots to other planets. It’s … Continue reading

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Apparently, I’m a terrible and negligent blogger who’s barely written a thing in ages, despite the number of times I’ve talked about and intended to do precisely that. This time, I really should try and make more effort. I think I … Continue reading

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Schrödinger’s Racist: On Safety and Pins

You’re not a racist. Of course you’re not. Nor are you a xenophobe. I’m sure you’d never dream of speaking ill of anyone purely based on their skin colour or country of origin. No, you’re a decent and wholesome member of … Continue reading

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Lurking Giant

Well this is quite interesting. There’s some latest news about the possibility of a giant planet lurking on the outskirts of our solar system. The near mythological “planet X” which astronomers have been hunting for for decades. This latest study … Continue reading

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❝ Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ❞ William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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How to write a proposal – part II

A few months ago, I wrote a little about how to put together a research proposal. At the time, I acknowledged that I was no expert and had a lot still to learn. I still acknowledge this, perhaps now even … Continue reading

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