Buckyballs Could Be Plentiful in the Universe

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An infrared photo of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by Spitzer is shown here in this artist’s illustration, with two callouts. The middle callout shows a magnified view of an example of a planetary nebula, and the right callout shows an even further magnified depiction of buckyballs, which consist of 60 carbon atoms arranged like soccer balls. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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 in mass to about 15 of our moons. (…) Read the rest of Buckyballs Could Be Plentiful in the Universe (636 words)

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[1]: http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/bucky-balls-580×317.jpg (An infrared photo of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by Spitzer is shown here in this artist’s illustration, with two callouts. The middle callout shows a magnified view of an example of a planetary nebula, and the right callout shows an even further magnified depiction of buckyballs, which consist of 60 carbon atoms arranged like soccer balls. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) [2]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/LnIh-xQCVN9Q5FTMV6DAzdBBVu4/0/di [3]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/LnIh-xQCVN9Q5FTMV6DAzdBBVu4/1/di [4]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/universetoday/pYdq?d=yIl2AUoC8zA [5]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/universetoday/pYdq?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 [6]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/universetoday/pYdq?d=7Q72WNTAKBA [7]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/universetoday/pYdq?i=Pav6Ll1hQfE:mREvGEefrt0:D7DqB2pKExk

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