Complex molecules polymerize and assemble to form all structures useful to the cell, thus to life. These monomers are largely made of carbon. Hence the importance of the discovery of buckyballs. Astronomers using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form, in space. Before this discovery, the microscopic spheres of carbon, had been found only in gaseous form, early in 2010. Formally known as fullerenes, buckyballs have a structure identical to the geodesic dome or soccer ball. The fullerene is also called "buckyballs" or "buckminsterfullerene" in honor of the architect Buckminster Fuller who designed the geodesic dome. These particularly stable aggregate, consist of 60 carbon atoms, arranged around a hollow sphere. Spitzer has seen these tiny grains of mater, made of buckyballs stacked at 6 500 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, crossed by the Sun, from November 29 to December 18.
"These fullerenes are stacked to form a solid, like oranges in a box," said Nye Evans of Keele University in England, lead author of an article in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
"The particles we have detected are tiny, much smaller than the width of a hair, but each should contain millions of millions of buckyballs."
Since 2010, Spitzer has identified molecules in different environments and cosmic staggering amounts, equivalent to 15 times the mass of the Moon, especially in the galaxy the Small Magellanic Cloud. The discovery of buckyballs particles means that large amounts of these molecules must be present in some stellar environments, in the form of solid particles. The research team was able to identify the solid form of fullerenes in the Spitzer data, because they emit light in a way that differs from the gaseous form.
"This exciting result suggests that these buckyballs are even more common in space than Spitzer shows us," said Mike Werner, Spitzer project scientist Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion in Pasadena, California.
"Fullerenes are an important form of carbon, an essential element for life, anywhere in the cosmos."
Of these long chain carbon, fullerene each vertex corresponds to a carbon atom and each side to a covalent bond. The covalent bond is a chemical bond wherein each of the atoms in common is an electron of one of its outer layers, to form a pair of electrons linking two atoms. The diameter of the C60 molecule is about one nanometer (nm). The smallest fullerene is the regular dodecahedron, C20. Fullerenes were discovered in the laboratory in 1985 by Harold roto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley, which earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996. Tiny quantities of fullerenes have been observed outside the laboratory, in the form of molecules C60, C70, C76 and C84, produced by nature, in the soot during combustion and in a mineral known as the Republic of Shungite of Karelia, Russia. Fullerenes are the second type of nanoparticles, the most used ones after money. Their structural properties, they are conducting and lubricating are used in many fields of activities in the fields pharmaceutical, cosmetic, electronic and photovoltaic.
Image: The buckyballs are structurally identical to the geodesic dome. The fullerene is also called "buckminsterfullerene" in honor of the architect Buckminster Fuller who designed the geodesic dome.
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Image: The fullerene is also called "buckyballs". The buckyballs are structurally identical to the ball, (football). Each vertex of the fullerene corresponds to a carbon atom and each side to a covalent bond.
Buckyballs have been found on Earth in various forms.
Fullerenes exist in the solid state in some rock types, such as Shungite, minerals found in Russia, and fulgurites, a glassy rock of Colorado formed when lightning strikes the ground.
Nota: The Shungite is an organic mineral that is found only in one place in the world: in the North-West Russia, in Karelia, in the Lake Onega called Shunga, near the White Sea.
The name of Shungite has originated from the mining area of the stone. It is sometimes called Schungite, or chungite shungit.
| ||nota: Fulgurites or "lightning stones" (Latin Lensman which means lightning), are pieces of natural glass very fragile, generally tubular hollow substantially cylindrical, produced by lightning strikes on a rock.|| || |
The little story of the evolution towards the living, starts from nothing.
The microscopic and the macroscopic world are gathered in the evolution of the Universe, because the infinitesimal generated infinitely large, the universe sprang from nothing.
The universe in gestation was so small it held in the palm of the hand, it is from there that have formed the first stars, galaxies, planets...
At first, a fuzzy energy is born billions of trillions of virtual particles and antiparticles, which will leave the opaque world of shadows, to emerge in the real world, transparent and material.
| ||Quarks A quark (pronounced /ˈkwɔrk/ or /ˈkwɑrk/) is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never found in isolation; they can only be found within hadrons. For this reason, much of what is known about quarks has been drawn from observations of the hadrons themselves. , electrons The electron is a subatomic particle carrying a negative electric charge. It has no known components or substructure. Therefore, the electron is generally believed to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. , neutrinos A neutrino, meaning "small neutral one" is an elementary particle that usually travels close to the speed of light, is electrically neutral, and is able to pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected. This makes neutrinos extremely difficult to detect. Neutrinos have a very small, but nonzero rest mass. They are denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu). and their antiparticles in the free state, will emerge from this mysterious empty. |
Particles and their antiparticles will produce light, lots of light, it is the radiative era.
The energy of the strong nuclear force (strong interaction), creates matter, involving quarks of three, this is the time of hadrons which generates the protons and neutrons.
At that time, the quarks lose their freedom.
Image: Attometers 100 (10-16 m) is the distance we can see the quark. It was not until 1975 that the quarks were detected experimentally.
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