Interstellar iron isn't missing, it's just hiding in plain sight

Astrophysicists know that iron (chemical symbol: Fe) is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, after lightweight elements such as hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Iron is most commonly found in gaseous form in stars ...

Inner electrons behave differently in aromatic hydrocarbons

In an international research collaboration between Tsinghua University in Beijing and Sorbonne University in Paris, scientists found that four hydrocarbon molecules, known for their internal ring structure, have a lower threshold ...

'Space butterfly' is home to hundreds of baby stars

What looks like a red butterfly in space is in reality a nursery for hundreds of baby stars, revealed in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Officially named Westerhout 40 (W40), the butterfly is a nebula—a ...

Constraining the chemistry of carbon-chain molecules in space

The interstellar medium of the Milky Way contains 5-10% of the total mass of the galaxy (excluding its dark matter) and consists primarily of hydrogen gas. There are small but important contributions from other gases as well, ...

Less is more when it comes to soot

Small particles emitted into air during the burning of hydrocarbon fuels damage the human respiratory system and enhance the greenhouse effect. In their agglomerated form, these particles form soot that consists predominantly ...

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