San Pedro De Atacama, Khanna Nixon, Alma Telescope. discussed on SpaceTime with Stuart Gary
Okay. What is a lot. Easier is chemical formula which is c three h two three carbon atoms. Two hundred with a name like not. You'd think it out. You know. Dozens of different elements in oxygen and nitrogen all but no c three h two cyclope Panel i think that said And it's as simple carbon-based component. Does they say to to to talks about in combination but the the excitement comes from the fact that it may be a precursor to more complex carbon containing compounds which is all about life as we so often end up talking about. How was it found by the alma telescope. once again the atacama large millimeter submillimeter array in northern chile. Not very far. From san pedro de atacama Way up that. It's about five thousand meters top of the of the hill on which the telescope mounted on what what scientists were doing was essentially looking at the spectrum of titan's atmosphere in the millimetre wave region And so he's fine and lots of features the spectral features that either. Absorption or emission lines race assignment in visible light. Spectroscopy where you break things up with the prison today. More complicated for millimeter wave spectroscopy but scientists were looking through that looking at the whole series of spectral signatures from alma and they found this chemical fingerprint and is a lovely quote from khanna nixon who's a planetary scientists nassar's goddard space flight center is actually a leader of the research and he said when i realized i was looking at cyclo panel. Id i i thought was well. This is really expect about understatement. It's very nice. And so we have you know. In the world of science we we do know of the existence of c three h two elsewhere in space most notably in clouds of gas. Gas clouds. Hit light nebula essentially in space and the the interesting part about it. Is this stuff tends to like to react with other chemicals. And so Hit in in deep space where you're looking at gas clouds nabulsi and you find it you can sort of e can can come to terms with that because these places are almost vacuum that that very very low density gasoline's if you've got cyclic propen alighting practicing since i think that might be you pronounce it just perfect it and then someone will give the throne. Yeah oh yeah. I'll have to go find some chemists friends anyway. The the thing about these rat sorry rarefied gas clouds in space is the molecules are a long way apart. So the stuff loves to react with other molecules. It can't find any and that's that's the rationale for finding in these a distant gas clouds in our galaxy but in a planetary atmosphere is quite different from that sound on the much high pressure. It's rarified on these outer edges but the much higher pressure and so the molecules in titan's atmosphere in close proximity to c three h two. So the question is how does it survive. where does it come from. And the in fact the press release puts it perfectly it says dense atmosphere like titans hives of chemical activity. And that's why this. This particular observation is of interest because it makes you wonder where the three is coming from..