Uma molécula com o formato de uma bola de futebol, que tem 60 átomos de carbono interligados, foi encontrada pela primeira vez, um pouco por todo o lado no espaço.
A importância desta molécula é que foi encontrada em meteoritos, por isso pode ter vindo do espaço, e dado um enorme impulso para o começo da vida na Terra. Além de aplicações fantásticas que poderá ter em termos de tecnologia para os humanos.
“Telescópio detecta abundância de buckyballs no espaço.
Uma molécula de carbono com o formato de bola de futebol, que alguns cientistas acreditam que podem ter ajudado a iniciar a vida na Terra, é mais comum no Universo do que se pensava.
Usando o Telescópio Espacial Spitzer, da Nasa, pesquisadores avistaram as esferas conhecidas como buckyballs ao redor de três estrelas moribundas semelhantes ao Sol na Via-Láctea, e também no espaço interestelar. O telescópio também viu as bolas flutuando ao redor de uma estrela moribunda numa galáxia próxima. (…)”
“Astronomers have discovered bucket loads of buckyballs in space. They used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to find the little carbon spheres throughout our Milky Way galaxy — in the space between stars and around three dying stars. What’s more, Spitzer detected buckyballs around a fourth dying star in a nearby galaxy in staggering quantities — the equivalent in mass to about 15 of our moons.
Buckyballs, also known as fullerenes, are soccer-ball-shaped molecules consisting of 60 linked carbon atoms.
The implications are far-reaching. Scientists have speculated in the past that buckyballs, which can act like cages for other molecules and atoms, might have carried substances to Earth that kick-started life. Evidence for this theory comes from the fact that buckyballs have been found in meteorites carrying extraterrestial gases. (…)”
“Fresh after finding buckyballs around an aging star, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has now detected these intriguing, miniature-soccer-ball-shaped molecules in interstellar space for the first time.
With these new results, the buckyball claims the record for the largest molecule ever discovered floating between the stars. The unique properties of buckyballs that have made these rounded particles such a hot area of research here on Earth also offer up some exciting possibilities for cosmic chemistry.”
“Buckyballs Could Be Plentiful in the Universe.
Earlier this year, astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope announced they had found – for the first time — carbon molecules, known as “buckyballs,” in space. They were detected in one planetary nebula, and even though they were predicted to be rather prevalent out in space, no one was really sure. Until now. They’ve now been found in the space between stars, and around four more planetary nebulae, with one dying star in a nearby galaxy holding a staggering quantity of buckyballs — the equivalent mass of 15 times that of Earth’s Moon. (…)”
“For the first time, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has detected little spheres of carbon, called buckyballs, in a galaxy beyond our Milky Way galaxy. The space balls were detected in a dying star, called a planetary nebula, within the nearby galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud. What’s more, huge quantities were found — the equivalent in mass to 15 of our moons. (…)”