Posted in | News | Nanomaterials | Fullerenes

Astronomers Discover Solid Form of Buckyballs in Space

Astronomers have found a solid form of buckyballs for the first time in space utilizing data obtained from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the solid form of buckyballs in space for the first time. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Previous space studies by Spitzer had found the miniscule carbon spheres only in the form of gas. Buckyballs are named after their analogous to the geodesic domes of late architect Buckminster Fuller. The 60-carbon-molecule sphere’s formal name is buckminsterfullerene. The unique structure of buckyballs makes them suitable for chemical and electrical applications, including armor, water purification, medicines and superconducting materials.

In the latest space study using Spitzer, researchers discovered microscopic particles containing million of stacked buckyballs. They discovered the particles around ‘XX Ophiuchi,’ a pair of stars located at a 6,500-light-year distance from earth.

Nye Evans from Keele University informed that these buckyballs are collectively packed to create a solid. Evans is the lead author of an article appearing in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notices.

The latest discovery of particles containing buckyballs confirms the presence of large amounts of these carbon molecules in some stellar conditions in order to bond and create solid particles. The researchers were able to detect the solid form of buckyballs using the Spitzer data as these molecules release light in an unusual way that varies from their gaseous form.

According to Mike Werner, who serves as Project Scientist for Spitzer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, the study findings suggest the widespread presence of buckyballs in space than the previous Spitzer results showed. On Earth, buckyballs exist in different forms.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Chai, Cameron. (2019, February 12). Astronomers Discover Solid Form of Buckyballs in Space. AZoNano. Retrieved on June 24, 2024 from https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=24349.

  • MLA

    Chai, Cameron. "Astronomers Discover Solid Form of Buckyballs in Space". AZoNano. 24 June 2024. <https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=24349>.

  • Chicago

    Chai, Cameron. "Astronomers Discover Solid Form of Buckyballs in Space". AZoNano. https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=24349. (accessed June 24, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Chai, Cameron. 2019. Astronomers Discover Solid Form of Buckyballs in Space. AZoNano, viewed 24 June 2024, https://www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=24349.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Submit

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.