Key Carbon Molecule Found Outside Solar System
Read the science paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06307-x
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· Webb NIRCAM image of the Orion Bar region: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, M. Zamani (ESA/Webb), PDRs4ALL ERS Team.
· Collage, Webb NIRCam and MIRI images of protoplanetary disk: ESA/Webb, NASA, CSA, M. Zamani (ESA/Webb), PDRs4ALL ERS Team.
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Key Carbon Molecule Found Outside Solar System. June 30, 2023. Astronomers using NASA's James Webb Space Telescope have detected a carbon molecule, the methyl cation, outside the Solar System for the first time.
Carbon compounds form the foundations of all known life. Methyl cation is theorized to be key in the development of more complex molecules.
The molecule was detected in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star in the Orion Nebula. The disk is being bombarded by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from nearby stars, which may be providing the energy for the formation of the methyl cation.
Carbon molecules are typically thought to form on the surfaces of dust grains. This discovery indicates a new route for organic chemistry: in gas energized by UV light.
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