Eight-carbon anion found in space | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 31 | p. 50 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 30, 2007

Eight-carbon anion found in space

Department: Science & Technology

Interstellar chemistry may be more complicated than previously thought. Until recently, astronomers supposed that molecules wouldn't be able to retain a negative charge in space amid the UV radiation. Now, astronomers have found a third anion in less than a year: the eight-carbon octatetraynyl chain, the longest anion found yet. Two independent teams observed the anion with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. A team led by Anthony J. Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory found the anion in the gas envelope of a giant star called IRC +10 216, which is in the constellation Leo (Astrophys. J. Lett. 2007, 664, L47). A second team, led by Sandra Br??nken of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., identified the same anion in a cold cloud of molecular gas called TMC-1 in the constellation Taurus (Astrophys. J. Lett. 2007, 664, L43). The astronomers suggest that many more anions remain to be discovered in space.

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