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Thread: Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space // Water on distant Neptune-sized planet

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    UK Avalon Member Cidersomerset's Avatar
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    Default Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space // Water on distant Neptune-sized planet

    26 September 2014 Last updated at 10:56

    Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space
    By Michael Eyre Science reporter
    Alma telescope

    The scientists searched for the molecule deep in the Milky Way

    Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the
    galaxy.Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-
    years from Earth.Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic
    molecules of life than any previous finding from interstellar space.

    The discovery suggests the building blocks of life may be widespread throughout
    our galaxy.Various organic molecules have previously been discovered in
    interstellar space, but i-propyl cyanide is the first with a branched carbon backbone.

    The branched structure is important as it shows that interstellar space could be the
    origin of more complex branched molecules, such as amino acids, that are
    necessary for life on Earth.

    Dr Arnaud Belloche from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is lead
    author of the research, which appears in the journal Science.

    "Amino acids on Earth are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are very
    important for life as we know it. The question in the background is: is there life
    somewhere else in the galaxy?"

    Alma telescope to unlock secrets of the Universe

    13 March 2013 Last updated at 13:27 Help
    The Alma project, built in the Atacama Desert in Chile, officially opens on
    Wednesday.The telescope is expected to help scientists unlock new information
    about the Universe.

    The BBC's Vladimir Hernandez reports.



    Watch the skies

    The molecule was detected in a giant gas cloud called Sagittarius B2, an active
    region of ongoing star formation in the centre of the Milky Way.As stars are born in
    the cloud they heat up microscopic dust grains. Chemical reactions on the surface
    of the dust allow complex molecules like i-propyl cyanide to form.The molecules
    emit radiation that was detected as radio waves by twenty 12m telescopes at the
    Atacama Large Millimeter Array (Alma) in Chile.

    Each molecule produces a different "spectral fingerprint" of frequencies. "The game
    consists in matching these frequencies… to molecules that have been characterised
    in the laboratory," explained Dr Belloche.

    "Our goal is to search for new complex organic molecules in the interstellar medium."

    Previously discovered molecules in the Sagittarius B2 cloud include vinyl alcohol
    and ethyl formate, the chemical that gives raspberries their flavour and rum its

    But i-propyl cyanide is the largest and most complex organic molecule found to
    date - and the only one to share the branched atomic backbone of amino acids.

    "The idea is to know whether the elements that are necessary for life to occur… can
    be found in other places in our galaxy."

    Alma graphic

    Prof Matt Griffin, head of the school of physics and astronomy at Cardiff University,
    commented on the discovery.

    "It's clearly very high-quality data - a very emphatic detection with multiple
    spectral signatures all seen together."

    Prof Griffin added that the quantity of i-propyl cyanide detected is significant.

    Molecule model

    The molecule i-propyl cyanide has a branched backbone of carbon atoms
    "There seems to be quite a lot of it, which would indicate that this more complex
    organic structure is possibly very common, maybe even the norm, when it comes
    to simple organic molecules in space.

    "It's a step closer to discovering molecules that can be regarded as the building
    blocks or the precursors… of amino acids."

    The hope is that amino acids will eventually be detected outside our Solar
    System. "That's what everyone would like to see," said Prof Griffin.

    If amino acids are widespread throughout the galaxy, life may be also.

    "So far we do not have the sensitivity to detect the signals from [amino acids]… in
    the interstellar medium," explained Dr Belloche. "The interstellar chemistry seems
    to be able to form these amino acids but at the moment we lack the evidence.

    "Alma in the future may be able to do that, once the full capabilities are available."

    Prof Griffin agreed this could be the first of many further discoveries from
    the "fantastically sensitive and powerful" Alma facility.



    Published on 13 May 2014

    ALMA and the Supercomputer - Episode 14 of Astronomy: Secrets of the Universe
    Revealed Segment 1: All Systems Go for Highest Altitude Supercomputer [6:33]

    One of the most powerful supercomputers in the world has now been fully installed
    and tested at its remote, high altitude site in the Andes of northern Chile. This
    marks one of the major remaining milestones toward completion of the Atacama
    Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the most elaborate ground-based
    telescope in history. The special-purpose ALMA correlator has over 134 million
    processors and performs up to 17 quadrillion operations per second, a speed
    comparable to the fastest general-purpose supercomputer in operation today.

    ================================================== ==

    Published on 24 Sep 2014
    Observations of planet HAT-P-11b by the Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler Space
    Telescopes were used to make the discovery. The planet is 120 light-years away in
    the constellation of Cygnus.
    Full Story: http://goo.gl/8h7zEP


    24 September 2014 Last updated at 20:21

    Clear skies reveal water on distant Neptune-sized planet

    Artwork Neptune Artwork: The exoplanet HAT-P-11b is four times the size of Earth,
    or about the same size as Neptune

    A cloud-free atmosphere has allowed scientists to pick out signs of water vapour on
    a distant planet the size of Neptune: the smallest "exoplanet" ever to reveal its
    chemical composition.Previously, only larger, Jupiter-like giants have been studied
    in this way.Working with three space telescopes, astronomers deduced the
    of water by measuring the colours of light the planet absorbed when it
    passed in front of its star.

    The find appears in the journal Nature.

    It was made by a team of researchers led from the University of Maryland, US.

    The planet, designated HAT P-11b, orbits a sun in the constellation Cygnus some
    124 light-years - about a quadrillion kilometres - from Earth. It is roughly four
    times the width of our home world.

    The scientists studied the planet's atmosphere with the aid of the US space
    agency's Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler telescopes.Their observations were also greatly
    assisted by there being no clouds on HAT P-11b, which would otherwise have
    frustrated their attempts to probe its gaseous envelope.The team determined that
    the far-off world's atmosphere contained about 90% hydrogen, but also significant
    quantities of water vapour as well.

    Commenting on the findings, Dr Eliza Kempton from Grinnell College, Iowa, said
    the Maryland group had taken another important step in the study of exoplanets -
    planets beyond our Solar System.

    "Astronomers have detected water vapour in the atmospheres of larger planets -
    planets that are closer in size to Jupiter. But you can imagine that eventually we
    want to be able to detect molecules in the atmospheres of even smaller planets.

    "We'd like to be able to look at an Earth-sized planet and measure its gaseous
    composition. So this is a step on the ladder; we're stepping down the ladder
    towards smaller and smaller planets," she told this week's Science In Action
    programme on the BBC World Service.

    Water has obvious implications for life, although HAT P-11b is too close to its star -
    and therefore too hot - to be habitable.But in the future study of Earth-sized
    exoplanets, the presence of water will be an important consideration as scientists
    search for biology elsewhere in our galaxy.

    Artwork of transit Artwork: A planetary atmosphere's composition is revealed by the light it absorbs from the background

    Last edited by Cidersomerset; 4th October 2014 at 16:12.

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    Default Re: Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space // Water on distant Neptune-sized planet

    Into Deepest Space: The Birth of the ALMA Observatory [HD]

    Published on 22 Jun 2013

    ALMA, in Spanish: Soul. Released in 2012, this 52-minute public television documentary reveals the
    motivations, struggles and ultimate triumphs of the people designing and building the most elaborate
    ground-based astronomical observatory ever, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
    The program documents some of the first observations made by the telescope, foreshadowing the
    scientific rewards that will be its heritage. Filmed on three continents--and at altitudes ranging from
    sea level to 16,500 feet--the film features breathtaking views of Chile's remote Atacama Desert, and
    demonstrates the lengths to which humans will go to understand the universe they call home.

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    Default Re: Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space // Water on distant Neptune-sized planet

    imagine that , building blocks for life exist out in space ??? closer and closer , they will discover life did not originate on earth ...
    Raiding the Matrix One Mind at a Time ...

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