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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life in the cosmos

Complex organic molecules discovered in infant star system
April 7, 2015

Artist impression of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the young star MWC 480. ALMA has detected the complex organic molecule methyl cyanide in the outer reaches of the disk in the region where comets are believed to form. This is another indication that complex organic chemistry, and potentially the conditions necessary for life, is universal. (Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)) 
Hints that prebiotic organic chemistry is universal
For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star, suggesting once again that the conditions that spawned our Earth and Sun are not unique in the universe. This discovery, made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), reveals … more…

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