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Buckyballs in space: Massive molecules stealing starlight

Buckyballs in space: Massive molecules stealing starlight

Mysterious molecules floating through interstellar space have been siphoning away shards of the starlight that reaches Earth, and scientists have long tried — and failed — to identify the culprits. Now researchers say they may have found some of the suspects: buckyballs. If they’re right about the enormous spherical carbon molecules, it could shed light on the potential for pre-life chemistry in other parts of the Milky Way, experts said. It may also help explain the nature of the diffuse interstellar bands that have been puzzling scientists for 90 years. These bands of missing light were first noticed in 1919 by Mary Lea Heger Shane, then a graduate student working...

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