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.Octatetraynyl anions, the most recent type discovered, are the largest yet.
"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.
Jul 25, 2007
anions in space
Another advance in astrobiology: