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Elements S4 • E72

We Just Found a MAJOR Clue About How Life Started in the Universe Thanks to Buckyballs

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Published on Jul 26, 2019

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope discovered these electrically charged molecules shaped like soccer balls. These "buckyballs" could shed insight on the creation of stars and planets.

Up above most of the atmosphere, the Hubble Space Telescope had an unobstructed view to observe the Diffuse Interstellar Bands, or DIBs, which are absorption features seen in astronomical objects. When we observe starlight, a broad range of colors are missing, and in patterns unlike any known atoms or molecules on Earth. These are the DIBs.

After peering at blue supergiant stars along our galactic plane, the telescope spotted an absorption pattern scientists recognized, the signature of a molecule called C60.

C60, made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a hollow sphere, strongly resembles a soccer ball, or the geodesic domes of Buckminster, hence its nickname of Buckyballs.

Read More:
Hubble finds tiny 'electric soccer balls' in space, helps solve interstellar mystery
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-hubble-...
"The molecules identified by Cordiner and his team are a form of carbon called 'Buckminsterfullerene,' also known as 'Buckyballs,' which consists of 60 carbon atoms (C60) arranged in a hollow sphere."

CONFIRMING INTERSTELLAR C+60 USING THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1904.08821.pdf
"The diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are a series of several hundred broad absorption features that occur in opticalNIR spectra of stars as their light passes through the diffuse
interstellar medium (ISM)."

Interstellar medium
https://www.nature.com/subjects/inter...
"Interstellar medium is the space between the stars. The interstellar medium is composed of gas (predominantly hydrogen and helium) and dust. Such interstellar matter makes up approximately 15% of the visible matter in our galaxy."

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