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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Tag Archives: stars
Proxima b is exciting, isn’t it? I mean, it’s a planet which was born to a different star. An actual alien planet. And it’s so tantalisingly close! If our species were to actually work towards it, we could conceivably send a robot … Continue reading
Take a long, hard look at this little animation. It may not look like much at first. A small collection of blue spots, swirling around a mass of light. But what you’re looking at is a system of alien planets orbiting … Continue reading
As I pointed out yesterday, the recently announced TRAPPIST-1 system is tiny. The little star itself is barely larger than Jupiter. But what about the system as a whole? So I made a model. Behold! This image shows all sizes … Continue reading
Discovered courtesy of Tumblr once more, are a set of pretty amazing visualisations originally from Halcyon Maps showing how drastically the sizes of stars can vary. These show how the view would appear from Earth if you replaced the Sun with a different … Continue reading
A very interesting thing has been reported this week, provoking a lot of discussion and speculation on Twitter and elsewhere. A star in the Kepler catalog, designated KIC 8462852, appears to be orbited by a bizarre swarm of objects and no one … Continue reading
The interesting thing about the Universe is that it’s big. Really big.★ With enough space and time, even the rarest events can find time to happen, with bizarre and unusual things happening as a result. And some rather good evidence for … Continue reading
The Universe is old. 13.798 billion years old, to be precise (give or take about 37 million years or so). That’s so old, it’s genuinely a little tricky to wrap your head around – 200 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed … Continue reading
The weather here on our little blue world has, of late, been somewhat turbulent. Storms lash my hometown on the UK’s Southern coast, Australia slowly bakes under oppressive heat, North America is deep frozen by the errant polar vortex, and … Continue reading
In honour of Ada Lovelace day, I thought I should write a little about a personal hero of mine. The lady in this picture is none other than Annie Jump Cannon, responsible for one of the most important and well … Continue reading