Jul 25, 2007

anions in space

Another advance in astrobiology:
In less than a year, re­search­ers say they have found the first three mol­e­cules in space with neg­a­tive elec­tri­cal charge. Such mol­e­cules have an ex­cess of elec­trons, neg­a­tively-charged sub­a­tom­ic par­t­i­cles.

"This dis­cov­ery con­tin­ues to add to the di­vers­ity and com­plex­ity that is al­ready seen in the chem­is­try of in­ter­stel­lar space," said An­tho­ny J. Remi­jan of the Char­lottes­ville, Va.-based Na­tional Ra­di­o As­tron­o­my Ob­serv­a­to­ry.

"It al­so adds to the num­ber of paths avail­a­ble for mak­ing the com­plex or­gan­ic mol­e­cules," the in­gre­di­ents of life, he added. Such sub­stances are thought to have formed in the same gi­ant clouds that give rise to stars and plan­ets.
Oc­tate­traynyl an­ions, the most recent type discovered, are the largest yet.

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