Category Archives: chemistry

Ammonia-Based Life?

While I was perusing some Wikimedia Commons images to find an illustration for an article, I stumbled across this gorgeous concept image, created by Wikimedia user lttiz. This is an impressively well thought out depiction of a world dominated by … Continue reading

Posted in art, astrobiology, chemistry | Tagged | 6 Comments

Tequila Diamonds!

So here’s an interesting little thing. Did you know that it’s possible to turn tequila into diamonds? Nope, neither did I. But it has indeed been found that a vapour from 80% proof tequila blanco, when deposited on the surface … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry

Snowflakes!

In celebration of the first snowfall I’ve seen this season, here are some gratuitous pretty pictures of snowflakes – taken using an electron microscope at the Electron Microscopy Unit at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Maryland. I do love snow. I’ve … Continue reading

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Elementary

As was pointed out in the comments of my post about Lise Meitner the other day, I forgot to mention that she actually had the last laugh. You see, Meitner received what is arguably one of the greatest honours a … Continue reading

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Texas Carbon?

This week I discovered one of the most faintly hilarious things I have for some time. It’s a fairly common mistake in chemistry to mis-draw a structure so that a carbon atom appears to have five bonds. It’s a fairly … Continue reading

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Rock.

This is a rock. It’s been given the seemingly arbitrary name of N165. Which, as I’m sure you can guess, means it’s no ordinary piece of basalt. This rock is special because it’s on Mars, and it’s set to be … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, space | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Carnival of Space 262

Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon, I bid you welcome to this week’s edition of Carnival of Space. With Curiosity’s daredevil landing on Mars this week, there’s a distinctly martian flavour about this carnival! Whether this is your first time … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, space | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Life’s first drink – Cold soup or warm soda?

It’s safe to say that we all know the phrase “primordial soup.” An idea originally put forward by J.B.S. Haldane in 1929, writers have been waxing lyrical about this proverbial soup from which life arose, for decades now. The phrase … Continue reading

Posted in astrobiology, chemistry | Tagged | 3 Comments

Mysterious Mars

Remember that puzzle about the martian methane? No? Well, if you’d like a refresher, you may be interested to take a glance at my latest article over on Australian Science. On methane, Mars, and more… Image: Arabia Terra, Mars – ESA/DLR/FU … Continue reading

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Chlorine and water purification

Just one more thing… Anyone who’s been camping will likely be familiar with the so-called “chlorine tablets” which can be used to purify water for drinking. Just so that we’re clear here, these tablets may contain a chemical compound which … Continue reading

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