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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Category Archives: chemistry
Since Juno’s arrival at Jupiter, a lot of people noted how impressively technology has improved, with Juno being powered by solar panels. Indeed, without the progress we’ve made, Juno wouldn’t have been possible. It may not be immediately apparent to everyone, seeing … Continue reading
Here’s an interesting fact. Oxygen is magnetic. You wouldn’t normally see this, being as it’s a colourless gas which we’re all constantly surrounded by. But if you cool it down so it becomes a liquid, you can actually catch liquid oxygen … Continue reading
As is fairly obvious, the recently inaugurated President of the USA, Donald Trump, has no idea what uranium is. To quote him directly: “You know what uranium is, right? S’thing called nuclear weapons and other things and lots of… things are … Continue reading
Have you ever noticed that not all meteors you see falling are the same colour? Growing up in the dark countryside away from city lights, I saw them sometimes, and their colour occasionally seemed to be an unusual and striking … Continue reading
So it’s summertime once more. The lotus flowers are in bloom, everyone’s enjoying ice cream and relaxing in shady spots with cold drinks. There’s just one drawback. Mosquitos. I may be a total pacifist usually, but that does not extend … Continue reading
I always enjoy good tea. This seems perfectly logical when you consider than I’m a British person living in Japan (apparently ocean island nations have a predisposition towards drinking tea). Interestingly though, it seems that tea is good for your … Continue reading
So the Mars rover drivers are apparently slightly perplexed over a bizarre rock which seems to have appeared on the surface of our planet’s little brother. This funny-looking white rock has been likened to a jelly doughnut by the folks … Continue reading
I have obtained permission from Haley Gomez to geek out over the internet about something in her talk at this conference today – which is possibly the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen at an astronomy conference! Specifically, none other … Continue reading
What do you do if you discover water which is half as old as the planet you’re standing on? If I’m honest, my own first compulsion would not be to taste it. But then, I’m not a geologist★. Interestingly enough, … Continue reading