The Hunt May Be Up for the Carrier of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands and other stories
Presenter: Harry Kroto
Published: July 2015
Age: 18-22 and upwards
Views: 820 views
The development of radio telescopes has revolutionized our understanding of the molecular constitution of the interstellar medium ISM. A recent surprise that the element carbon had up its sleeve was the existence of C60, Buckminsterfullerene, the third well-defined form of carbon. The possibility that C60 and derivatives exist in space was suggested by the fact that the original discovery was made serendipitously during laboratory experiments designed to simulate the atmospheric conditions in cool red giant carbon stars.. This conjecture was amazingly confirmed by NASA’s Spitzer satellite telescope and this suggests that C60 or some analogues may be responsible for some of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands, DIBs. The first of these DIBs were first observed in 1923 and have puzzled scientists ever since.