Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Baby Astronaut

Space sugar...how can they even see it?

Recommended Posts

Spectrum analysis?

 

I agree. (You often make good suggestions, I've noticed :cool: )

 

What they saw was radio emission in the millimeter wavelengths

 

http://babbage.sissa.it/abs/0811.3821

 

The glycol aldehyde was fairly warm-----300 kelvin, around room temp.

 

†hat made it radiate at its characteristic wavelengths that that molecule likes to vibrate.

 

 

B. Astro. this is a very neat find. Thanks for spotting it and giving us the link.

 

You might want to think about how that molecule happened to be synthesized in space.

 

If you look at it you will see that it would require two CO (carbon monoxide) molecules and some hydrogen.

 

There is always plenty of hydrogen in space, so that's no problem.

 

Carbon and oxygen are formed in the cores of stars by fusion. Fusion builds up from hydrogen to helium to carbon and oxygen. At the end of its life the star will blow off a certain amount of these heavier elements and they join the clouds of hydrogen and dust and stuff.

 

Carbon monoxide is very reactive (which is why it is a poison to us, it binds to other molecules, it disables hemoglobin etc.) The CO is joined by a doublebond but carbon has four valences so it is not fully satisfied with just the one oxygen and it can attach to other stuff.

 

If you think about it you can picture how that glycol aldehyde molecule could have been built up by random interactions. Dust particles could serve as catalyst, a temporary locale where the hydrogen and CO can meet up and get together.

 

I think the Wired reporter did a good job.

Edited by Martin
multiple post merged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the PAH's in space seem more interesting to me.

 

what would life in space do with a sugar molecule? theres no oxygen to burn it with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

what would life in space do with a sugar molecule? theres no oxygen to burn it with.

 

Did you read the article in Wired, granpa? Please read it if you haven't. It will help you guess intelligently about the significance of glycol aldehyde.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We should send in the Space Yeast to make some Space Ethanol. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We should send in the Space Yeast to make some Space Ethanol. :P

 

That would be very rude, considering that after possible and local abiogenesis some of the very first lifeforms might be drunk off their asses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would be very rude, considering that after possible and local abiogenesis some of the very first lifeforms might be drunk off their asses.

 

well then they'll evolve their asses away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would be very rude, considering that after possible and local abiogenesis some of the very first lifeforms might be drunk off their asses.

 

 

Assuming early life forms actually have asses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Assuming early life forms actually have asses.

 

Well perhaps not the very first, but after that it's pretty important. Constipation is a bitch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excretion is necessary, but asses, per se, are merely very convenient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.