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Fraser
2004-Jun-21, 05:51 PM
SUMMARY: Radio astronomers have discovered two molecules never before seen in space in an interstellar cloud near the centre of the Milky Way. So far, about 130 different molecules have been found in space, but they usually contain only a few atoms each. These newly discovered molecules, propanal and propenal, have 8 and 10 atoms respectively. By finding complex molecules like this in space, scientists can get a better idea of the starting materials that Earth had to work with when it formed billions of years ago, and how life could have evolved.

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StarLab
2004-Jun-21, 05:57 PM
This is a HUUUGE heads up!

Greg
2004-Jun-22, 05:16 AM
Wow. This interstellar cloud probably does a better job than I did in my organic chemistry lab of synthesizing propanal. I guess I should be ashamed :-(.

Rich Faulkner
2004-Jun-22, 02:35 PM
Not knowing about these things, I have a question: How do they discover these molecular sized objects so far out in space? Is it that the object exists in a large quantity? I figure we need a poweful microscope (as opposed to a powerful telescope) to examine miniscule molecules. How do they do it in space?

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jun-22, 03:07 PM
How do they discover these molecular sized objects so far out in space?

Spectral analysis. Each molecule has frequencies unique to it.

Guest
2004-Jun-22, 07:52 PM
QUOTE
How do they discover these molecular sized objects so far out in space?



Spectral analysis. Each molecule has frequencies unique to it.

Based on that, I guess there must be enough quantity then for the items to appear in the spectrum. Do the researchers have methods to estimate the quantity? And, how much interference does the Earth's atmosphere play in the analysis? Wouldn't molecules in the air add to the signature?

anderson
2004-Jun-23, 07:42 PM
where will I found more pictures about organics molecules?

thanks, anderson

Algenon the mouse
2004-Jun-23, 10:17 PM
Are the molecules made of any familar elements? It would be interesting to find out that the elements are new too....

Duane
2004-Jun-23, 10:29 PM
Propanal is C3H6O or carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
propenal is C3H4O.

The clouds where these were found are many light years in area, and show a multitude of different molecules. They (the clouds) are still about 90% hydrogen though. I am not sure how the molecules in the atmosphere would affect the reading, I assume these are screened out.

Anderson, I am not sure what you mean. There are no pictures, other than of the area where the molecules were measured.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jun-24, 12:24 AM
Here (http://www.cv.nrao.edu/~awootten/allmols.html) is a list to which the new compounds can be added.


where will I found more pictures about organics molecules?

Google on organic chemistry or check out a good reference on the subject from your local library for chemical diagrams of how the elements are arranged.

Note that life supporting elements are plentiful in the interstellar medium.

Nick4
2004-Jun-26, 02:07 PM
They were found near the center of the galaxy maby the presure or pull of all of the stars so close together have something to do with it.