Title

Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-3-2010

Journal

Science

Volume

329

Issue

5996

First Page

1180

Last Page

1182

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1192035

Abstract

In the last decades, a number of molecules and diverse dust features have been identified by astronomical observations in various environments. Most of the dust that determines the physical and chemical characteristics of the interstellar medium (ISM) is formed in the outflows of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and is further processed when these objects become planetary nebulae (PNe). Here, we report on the environment of Tc 1, a peculiar PN whose infrared spectrum shows emission from cold and neutral C60 and C70. The two molecules amount to a few percent of the available cosmic carbon in this region, showing that if the conditions are right, fullerenes can and do form efficiently in space.

Notes

The abstract and full text reprint of this article are freely available online from Science.

Relevant data and images are available from NASA Telescope Finds Elusive Buckyballs in Space. There are also two videos in which Dr. Jan Cami talks about the study. They are embedded below.

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