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Web Date: July 26, 2007

Eight-Carbon Anion Found In Space

Linear anion is the third discovered in space in less than a year
Department: Science & Technology
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Interstellar chemistry may be more complicated than previously thought. Until recently, astronomers thought that molecules wouldn't be able to retain a negative charge in space amid the UV radiation. But astronomers have found a third anion in less than a year, an octatetraynyl chain of eight carbons, 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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