31 Days – Sugar in Space

Soon after I posted yesterday about life ratcheting its way into existence, I came across the video below. It turns out that if life were to arise in space, there might be food waiting for it!

Here’s the description from the YouTube page.

A team of astronomers has found molecules of glycolaldehyde — a simple form of sugar — in the gas surrounding a young binary star, with similar mass to the Sun, called IRAS 16293-2422. This is the first time sugar been found in space around such a star, and the discovery shows that the building blocks of life are in the right place, at the right time, to be included in planets forming around the star. The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect the molecules.

This video starts with a broad panorama of the spectacular central regions of the Milky Way seen in visible light. It then zooms in to the Rho Ophiuchi star-forming region in infrared light, highlighting IRAS 16293-2422. Finally, we see an artist’s impression of glycolaldehyde molecules, showing glycolaldehyde’s molecular structure (C2H4O2).

More information and download-options:
http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1234a/

Credit:
ESO / Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) / S. Guisard (www.eso.org/~sguisard) / L. Calçada & NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
Music: Disasterpeace

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