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Complex organic molecule found in space


Waspie_Dwarf
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space

Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy.

Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth.

Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic molecules of life than any previous finding from interstellar space.

The discovery suggests the building blocks of life may be widespread throughout our galaxy.

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Space just keeps on being amazing!

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The best thing is that when we die our spirits get to see all of everything. It's gonna be so awesome!

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The best thing is that when we die our spirits get to see all of everything. It's gonna be so awesome!

This is how I imagine it.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Space just keeps on being amazing!

This is not really unexpected.

Since comets are believed to be the left over building blocks of the solar system and since comets have complex organic molecules as well as water ice, it stands to reason that complex organic molecules should be found in deep space.

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I wonder if this could be a Life-based, or technology-based, byproduct? Could we find ET civs by way of their extra-solar industrial waste?

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I wonder if this could be a Life-based, or technology-based, byproduct?

Almost certainly not. Don't let the name "organic" muddy the waters, in chemistry that just means carbon based. There are more types of organic molecules than there are inorganic.

Given the right conditions complex organic molecules will form quite readily with no need for life or technology (Saturn's moon Titan and comets being good examples).

Besides, if this is a product of life or technology you would expect to find it on, or near, a planet, not in interstellar space.

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Almost certainly not.

That's not a firm "no" though. :tu:

Besides, if this is a product of life or technology you would expect to find it on, or near, a planet, not in interstellar space.

Unless it is the equivalent to offshore dumping.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

That's not a firm "no" though. :tu:

It's as close to a firm no as you are ever going to get. What it most certainly is not is a yes.

Unless it is the equivalent to offshore dumping.

How does expending vast amounts of energy to move something into interstellar space equate to offshore dumping?

The whole point of off shore dumping is that it is a lazy, ecologically disastrous but cheap way of disposing of something.

Travelling into interstellar space is not going to be a cheap, easy way of disposing of things.

Sorry DieChecker but you are grasping at straws and making little sense doing it.

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I find it interesting that the organic material found is more than likely toxic to human life. I don't know of any cyanide (CN) derivatives that aren't.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I don't know of any cyanide (CN) derivatives that aren't.

There are a few:

Organic nitriles do not readily release cyanide ions, and so have low toxicities.
Due to the high stability of their complexation with iron, ferrocyanides (Sodium ferrocyanide E535, Potassium ferrocyanide E536, and Calcium ferrocyanide E538) do not decompose to lethal levels in the human body and are used in the food industry as, e.g., an anticaking agent in table salt.

Source: wikipedia

As Iso-propyl cyanide (also known as Isobutyronitrile) is an organic nitrile is likely to have a low toxicity. You wouldn't want to drink or bathe in the stuff or breath it in, but in low concentrations (below 8ppm it would seem) it is an irritant rather than causing fatality. It is used in insecticides and as a petroleum additive.

When using phrases like:

more than likely toxic to human life.

it is worth noting that it is a meaningless phrase unless you stipulate concentrations and contact methods.. Almost anything in large enough quantities is toxic to human life, including pure water:

Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by over-hydration.

Source: wikipedia

Common table salt is far too toxic to be allowed to be registered as a weed killer.

All cyanide containing molecules are toxic in high enough concentrations, bit then again so is everything else.

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