Author Archives: Invader Xan

About Invader Xan

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

That’s no moon

…or is it? Here are some objects which may or may not be moons, shown to scale. Enjoy! Organised by diameter: Endor – 4900 km Mercury – 4879 km Luna – 3474 km Pluto – 2377 km Tethys – 1062 … Continue reading

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Planet Blossoms

The Universe really is quite pretty and mathematical. It’s just full of natural rhythms and geometries, and this is often apparent in the orbits of stars and planets. Planets like to be in harmony, tugging each others orbits with gravity … Continue reading

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Astrotropes: Wormholes

Wormholes show up a lot in fiction, don’t they? I’ve seen the concept reiterated several times in various different ways, in everything from obscure sci fi novels to high budget movies. Which makes sense really, because it’s a compelling idea, … Continue reading

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The Dark Side of the Moon

I do admire Neil deGrasse Tyson for his work in science communication, particularly for bringing some much needed diversity to a profession which still sorely needs it. However, he does have… shall we say, a certain proclivity for pedantry. This … Continue reading

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Suddenly, paperclips. Billions of them.

So I may have spend some of my idle brain and CPU time yesterday making paperclips. Wait! I promise this is more interesting than it sounds! The game Universal Paperclips, shown to me by a friend (thanks Wil!) after my … Continue reading

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Astrotropes: Dangerous AI

This trope may not be particularly astro-related, but it’s nonetheless quite ubiquitous in science fiction, both in space and on Earth. For a long time, humans have daydreamed about the ability to create artificial intelligence (AI) which may be equal … Continue reading

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Energy!

Inspired by that last Astrotropes post of mine, here is a very circular graphic showing kinetic energies of various things, fictional and non-fictional. Go and check the other post for some more details, and mind out for any spoilers. (click … Continue reading

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Astrotropes: Spaceship collisions

High above Earth, several United Federation starships are locked into a desperate battle against a Borg cube. On the bridge of his ship, Worf hears a grim damage report. His blood boils and he slams a console with furious fists. … Continue reading

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Astrotropes: Surviving Space

Space, as a background, is a mainstay of sci fi. But space is hazarous, and if you’re to find yourself without air to breathe, that should probably be cause for alarm. Naturally, sci fi characters (much like real life astronauts) … Continue reading

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“We humans are capable of greatness”

Happy Birthday Carl ❤️

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