Burning acid seen behind ant bites around two wires

(CNN) — Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have detected common chemical elements found in vinegar, ant bites and even daisies around two young stars, NASA reported.

The complex organic molecules they observed using the space observatory’s mid-infrared instrument included acetic acid, a component of vinegar, and ethanol, also known as alcohol.

The team also found single molecules of formic acid, which causes a burning sensation when ant bites, as well as sulfur dioxide, methane and formaldehyde. Scientists believe that sulfur compounds such as sulfur dioxide may have played an important role on the early Earth that ultimately paved the way for the formation of life.

The newly discovered molecules were observed to be icy compounds around IRAS 2A and IRAS 23385, which are two protostars, or stars so young that they have not yet formed planets. Stars are formed from rotating clouds of gas and dust and the leftover material from star formation gives rise to planets.

According to previous research, the protostar IRAS 23385 is estimated to be 15,981 light-years away from Earth in the galaxy.

The new observation surprises astronomers because the molecules found around stars could potentially be key ingredients for habitable worlds, and those materials could be incorporated into planets that will eventually form around stars.

Space is full of heavy metals and chemical elements and compounds that have been created and released over time by stellar explosions. In turn, chemical elements are incorporated into clouds that form the next generation of stars.

On Earth, the right combination of elements allowed life to form, and as famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “We are made of star stuff.” But astronomers have long questioned how common the elements necessary for life are throughout the universe.

Search for complex molecules in space

Previously, scientists using the web discovered ice made of different elements in a cold, dark molecular cloud, an interstellar cluster of gas and dust where hydrogen and carbon monoxide molecules can form. Dense clusters within these clouds may collapse to form protostars.

Detecting complex organic molecules in space is helping astronomers determine the origin of the molecules as well as other large cosmic molecules.

Scientists believe that complex organic molecules are formed by the sublimation of ice in space, or the process when a solid turns into a gas without first becoming a liquid, and Webb’s new discovery provides evidence for that theory. .

“This discovery contributes to one of the long-standing questions in astrochemistry,” Will Rocha, team leader of the James Webb Young Protostar Observation Program and a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands, said in a statement. “What is the origin of complex organic molecules, or COM, in space? Are they formed in the gas phase or in ice? The detection of COM in ice suggests that solid phase chemical reactions on the grain surfaces of cold dust can create complex Are types of molecules.

A study detailing new findings of the protostar has been accepted for publication in the Astronomy & Astrophysics Journal.

A look at the early solar system

Understanding the shapes of complex organic molecules can help astronomers better understand the ways in which molecules join together to form planets. Complex organic molecules trapped in cold ice may eventually become part of comets or asteroids, which collide with planets and essentially provide the elements that can sustain life.

Chemicals found around protostars may reflect the early history of our Solar System, helping astronomers see what existed when the Sun and the planets orbiting it, including Earth, were forming.

“All these molecules can become part of comets and asteroids and eventually new planetary systems when icy material is transported into the planet-forming disk as the protostellar system evolves,” said Professor of Molecular Astrophysics at Leiden and co-author of the study. said author Iwain van Dishoeck. The university said in a statement. “We hope to follow this astrochemical path step by step with more data from the Web in the coming years.”

The team has dedicated the results of its research to the study of co-author Harold Linnartz, who died unexpectedly in December, shortly after the paper was accepted for publication.

According to a statement from Leiden University, Linnartz, who led the Leiden Astrophysics Laboratory and coordinated the measurements used in the study, was “a world leader in laboratory studies of gaseous and icy molecules in interstellar space.”

He was reportedly pleased with the data that Webb was able to capture and what the findings could mean for astrochemistry research.

“Harold was especially pleased that laboratory work could play an important role in the COM assignment, because he has had to travel a long road to get here,” said Van Dishoek.

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Brooke Shields and her 17-year-old daughter are conquering the red carpet Famous S Fashion

Brooke Shields (New York, 58) attended the Tribeca Ball, a charity event hosted by The ... Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *