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: the sun
Being British is a fairly good excuse for spending too much time talking about the weather. Seemingly, we’re famed for it. Though not all the weather that affects us is purely from Earth. There’s one thing that causes weather that … Continue reading
Did you know that, seen in high energy gamma rays, the Moon is actually brighter than the Sun? Remarkably, the photons that make up this image carried over 20 million electron volts of energy each. That already sounds like a … Continue reading
I am one of 18-35% of the human population with a photic sneeze reflex! If I step out of a dark building into full bright sunlight, it makes me sneeze. It always has. When I was a kid, I used … Continue reading
Water is all the rage. It gets mentioned in every single high profile space mission of late. Searching for water on Mars, water inside Europa, water in the atmospheres of exoplanets. Going to the Moon? Don’t forget to check for … Continue reading
“Science takes the romance out of things.” This was an offhand comment made to me in conversation at the pub the other night. Is that really what people believe? Apparently, it is. It’s regrettable, but I suppose the old stereotype … Continue reading
Remember IBEX? NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer has been mapping the outer limits of the solar system from a highly eccentric Earth orbit for almost a year now. It was designed to observe the Sun’s heliosphere — the bubble blown in … Continue reading
A sunspot!! Ok, ok, so it’s not a very big or dramatic one, but it’s a sunspot all the same (top left, in case you missed it). You might think this is rather a bizarre thing to be excited about, … Continue reading
Oooo… Maybe we really are a step closer to being able to predict space weather!
Interestingly, about the time I first started writing about near Earth supernovae, this fascinating paper was already published. Though by some quirk of fate, I’ve only just been able to get a copy of it to read! So as I’ve … Continue reading
Ever wonder what a star sounds like? Stars certainly aren’t silent. Actually, they constantly ‘sing’ by oscillating at certain frequencies. Using ESA’s Corot satellite, astronomers have recorded these frequencies and made them into actual sounds. Click that link above to … Continue reading