Hot space projects produce cool cosmic discoveries

NASA, ESA and others' spacecraft and telescopes find new planet, make sense of old ones and solve cosmic mysteries

 Hot space projects produce cool cosmic discoveries prev next

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Chemical playground: The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed the chemical fingerprints of potentially life-enabling organic molecules in the Orion nebula, a nearby stellar nursery in our Milky Way galaxy. Herschel is led by the European Space Agency with important participation from NASA. The Orion nebula is known to be one of the most prolific chemical factories in space, although the full extent of its chemistry and the pathways for molecule formation are not well understood. By sifting through the pattern of spectrum, astronomers have identified a few common molecules that are precursors to life-enabling molecules, including water, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, methanol, dimethyl ether, hydrogen cyanide, sulfur oxide and sulfur dioxide, ESA stated.

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Hot space projects produce cool cosmic discoveries

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