GBT Finds Benzonitrile in the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1
Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope have made the first definitive interstellar detection of benzonitrile, an intriguing organic molecule that helps to chemically link simple carbon-based molecules and truly massive ones known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery is a vital clue in a 30-year-old mystery: identifying the source of a faint infrared glow that permeates the Milky Way and other galaxies. The science team, led by chemist Brett McGuire at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, detected this molecule’s telltale radio signature coming from a nearby star-forming nebula known as the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1, which is about 430 light-years from Earth.
- Original TIFF 3320 x 2453
- Hi-Res Full-Size 1170 x 864
- Screensize File 1024 x 756