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Discovery: Cosmic Dust Contains Organic Matter From Stars

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At www.space.com

A new look at the interstellar dust permeating the universe has revealed hints of organic matter that could be created naturally by stars, scientists say. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong observed stars at different evolutionary phases and found that they are able to produce complex organic compounds and eject them into space, filling the regions between stars. The compounds are so complex that their chemical structures resemble the makeup of coal and petroleum, the study's lead author Sun Kwok, of the University of Hong Kong, said. Such chemical complexity was thought to arise only from living organisms, but the results of the new study show that these organic compounds can be created in space even when no life forms are present. In fact, such complex organics could be produced naturally by stars, and at an extremely rapid pace.

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At www.space.com


 

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