Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Solid Buckeyballs Detected In Space

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the ophiuchi-chosen-for-space-burning-man dept.

Space 73

astroengine writes with an excerpt from an article at Discovery: "For the first time, 'buckyballs' have been discovered in the cosmos in a solid form. Until now, the only evidence in space for the bizarre little hollow balls of carbon atoms have been in interstellar gases, but with the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered buckyballs accumulating and stacking atop one another to form solid particles. 'These buckyballs are stacked together to form a solid, like oranges in a crate,' said Nye Evans of Keele University in England, lead author of a paper appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 'The particles we detected are minuscule, far smaller than the width of a hair, but each one would contain stacks of millions of buckyballs.'"

cancel ×

73 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Crystalline Entity!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126909)

It was all true!!

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (4, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127237)

You may have a point in a roundabout way. This is similar to sheets of graphene that have also been discovered [wired.co.uk] . Now, imagine that the graphene or C60 is contaminated with trace amounts of N, O, P and H - the carbon is going to form a substrate on which random combinations of the containments are brought together, and if it's constantly being broken up and reforming due to, for example, UV then you have a plausible mechanism for biogenesis.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127921)

then you have a plausible mechanism for biogenesis.

Or at very least a Star Trek episode script.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134005)

then you have a plausible mechanism for biogenesis.

Or at very least a Star Trek episode script.

Star Tek scripts don't require plausible, or even reference to real stuff like graphene.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (2)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135623)

then you have a plausible mechanism for biogenesis.

Or at very least a Star Trek episode script.

Star Tek scripts don't require plausible, or even reference to real stuff like graphene.

Yeah, they leave all the real science stuff to hard sci-fi films like Star Wars.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127275)

I don't know... This looks Photoshop to me.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129225)

It looks a lot more like Blender to me, too much 3d in there to be Photoshop.

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127803)

ugly bags of water

Re:Crystalline Entity!! (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128575)

ugly bags of mostly water

Different episode but FTFY anyway.

you know what these are (4, Funny)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126923)

Proto- replicators. Watch them grow and take over the galaxy.

Re:you know what these are (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127019)

They'd have to change their name. I, for one, could never welcome any overlord named Buckeyballs.

Re:you know what these are (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127135)

In Soviet Russia, Buckeyballs' you!

Re:you know what these are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127333)

In Soviet Russia, Bucky Spaceballs you!

Re:you know what these are (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129161)

Same here, given that my dog's name is Bucky...

Re:you know what these are (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134021)

Same here, given that my dog's name is Bucky...

Presumably you wouldn't go for "Dingleberries" either.

Re:you know what these are (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39129755)

SPACEBALLS!

Re:you know what these are (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134011)

They'd have to change their name. I, for one, could never welcome any overlord named Buckeyballs.

Presumably his fanatic warriors only call him that when he's not around.

Re:you know what these are (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127259)

Invasion of the Buckeyballs just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Re:you know what these are (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127311)

Invasion of the KILLER Buckeyballs just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

ehh? eeeeeeh?

Re:you know what these are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127569)

They might also be bio-containment units and have some yellowish substance inside them. There might be some wormholes nearby as well. Quickly, protect the black smokers of the oceans to save us all!

Re:you know what these are (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127639)

Proto- replicators. Watch them grow and take over the galaxy.

Nahhhh. They're Nanoplanets - the latest thing!

Re:you know what these are (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127677)

It's The Nanocloud. The ultimate buzzword.

Re:you know what these are (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134029)

It's The Nanocloud. The ultimate buzzword.

Yes, but iNanocloud is the ultimate iBuzzword.

Re:you know what these are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132305)

Proto- replicators. Watch them grow and take over the galaxy.

Nahhhh. They're Nanoplanets - the latest thing!

Damn it. They've re-classified Pluto again?

But I already have some! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39126961)

I have a pile of solid buckeyballs sitting on my desk!

Oh wait, wrong ones

Flawed analogy? (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39126995)

Oranges in a crate form a solid? I thought the crate still gave it the overall structure? Take away the crate, and the oranges all come tumbling down.

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127291)

You are assuming there is gravity....

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128443)

There IS gravity, why do you think the buckyballs stick together? It's the gravitational attraction between the buckyballs themselves.

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129369)

true, i should have said 'you are assuming there is enough third-party caused gravity to overcome the gravity between the buckeyballs.'

Re:Flawed analogy? (5, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127425)

Oranges in a crate form a solid? I thought the crate still gave it the overall structure? Take away the crate, and the oranges all come tumbling down.

Perhaps piled like cannonballs is a better analogy. Although in a grocery store, you can see piles of oranges w/o a crate.

Of course "tumbling down" is just because the earth's gravitational forces are larger than the forces that bind the oranges to each other (electrostatic and gravitational). Without the earth's gravity, you don't get "down"...

BTW, theoretical work on this has been going on for a while [roaldhoffmann.com] , it's only the recent observation that is newsworthy...

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128197)

No, the crate just bears some weight at the edges because the attraction between oranges is weak compared to gravity. Oranges in a crate are stacked just like carbon atoms in graphite, and graphite's certainly a solid.

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130501)

No, the crate just bears some weight at the edges because the attraction between oranges is weak compared to gravity. Oranges in a crate are stacked just like carbon atoms in graphite, and graphite's certainly a solid.

Actually, oranges in a crate are stacked more like carbon atoms in C60 (a buckminster fullerene). The atoms in graphite (stacked graphene) are more akin to stacked egg cartons as graphite is organized in layers.

Re:Flawed analogy? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136379)

Actually, oranges in a crate are stacked more like carbon atoms in C60 (a buckminster fullerene). The atoms in graphite (stacked graphene) are more akin to stacked egg cartons as graphite is organized in layers.

The carbon atoms in C60 aren't stacked, they form a hollow sphere and they're distinctly not like stacked oranges. At this point it's probably easier to be specific. Oranges, like any other collection of weakly-interacting spheres, are stacked HCP or FCC. HCP and FCC are nearly the same and both can be viewed as consisting of "layers".

ftfy (1, Redundant)

stewsters (1406737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127121)

They are made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged into a hollow sphere, like a soccer ball.

Re:ftfy (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134037)

They are made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged into a hollow sphere, like a soccer ball.

You sure use little soccer balls in your league.

I wonder if you'd find them in larger quantities.. (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127145)

Like say, asteroid sized hunks of buckyballs. That would be pretty cool, as currently we have to manually produce all of them ourselves. From what I've heard they have some pretty useful properties that we've only just started to make use of...

Space balls! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127151)

May the Schwartz be with you.

Re:Space balls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128525)

I bet you just watched this on HBO like me.

This is a followup on earlier work (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127183)

Buckyballs have been discovered in nature before. When this first happened it was somewhat surprising because they seemed difficult to synthesize. But they've since been discovered in a variety of natural contexts. One really neat example is how they've been found in craters from meteorites, apparently produced during the formation of the craters as well as by forest fires in some limited circumstances- http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/Feb01/permianImpact.html [hawaii.edu] . One neat thing about this is that since buckyballs are large and hollow, they can when they form actually trap small atoms, generally atoms that are noble gasses (especially helium and argon). So, looking at what these buckyballs have can give us information about the atmospheres and conditions where the buckyballs formed. This is overall part of a large trend in the last twenty years where we've learned how many alternate carbon structures there are. Chemists used to think that while carbon had great versatility when combined with other elements (hence the large variety of chemicals used in life) that the chemistry of pure carbon was fairly prosaic. Since then, the discovery of buckyballs, nanotubes, and other structures have shown that carbon has complicated and interesting chemistry even in its pure form.

The work being done here is part of the general work done by the infrared Spitzer telescope http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitzer_Space_Telescope [wikipedia.org] which has been as a whole really amazing for all sorts of astronomy. There are some really neat and entertaining videos explaining the work they've done, like this one with Felicia Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjRJeaNtxN4 [youtube.com] . Unfortunately, Spitzer ran out of coolant in 2009, which substantially reduces which instruments can be used and how precise observations it can make. One major good thing about Spitzer is that it isn't in Eart orbit but is rather in orbit around the sun, so we don't need to worry about it becoming a space debris problem, or need to worry about bringing it down early before it dies (to prevent orbital bombardment), so we can keep getting good data from it until the very last instrument croaks.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127437)

You're already at a score of 5 but I just wanted to say thanks. This is the type of information I expect from Slashdot.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134045)

This is the type of information I expect from Slashdot.

You're trying for the coveted "+5 funny", aren't you.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127479)

A cloud of noble gases has been detected near Ringmusculaturus II. [goo.gl]

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128869)

Meatspinning asshole.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127623)

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39129677)

http://tinyurl.com/7bfsaky

Where's that shortened URL going, goatse? Be advised that when I moderate, if I see a shortened URL in a comment I'm just going to assume it's goatse or tubgirl and automatically mod it "troll," because there's no other reason to use a shortened URL at slashdot other than to trick people into going somewhere they don't want to go.

This isn't twitter. If that link is legit, use the whole damned thing. A short URL here makes you look like a twit.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135883)

http://tinyurl.com/7bfsaky

Where's that shortened URL going, goatse? Be advised that when I moderate, if I see a shortened URL in a comment I'm just going to assume it's goatse or tubgirl and automatically mod it "troll," because there's no other reason to use a shortened URL at slashdot other than to trick people into going somewhere they don't want to go.

This isn't twitter. If that link is legit, use the whole damned thing. A short URL here makes you look like a twit.

It's going to a picture of a caveman, standing in front of a campfire, talking to his cavewoman, with the caption "I was just rubbing two sticks together, I didn't know I was doing basic research", which is funny and relevant because it makes a joke of statements about how difficult buckyballs are to manufacture.

One of us is a twit, but it isn't me.

Re:This is a followup on earlier work (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148377)

Sorry, sparky, but only an idiot would post or click a shortened link here, since there's no reason whatever to use one except for trolling or stupidity.

Seems the moderators agree with me. Rather than going into defensive mode, why not sit back, think a second, and learn?

Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127209)

Buckeyballs does not equal buckyballs.

Buckyballs (2)

89cents (589228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127321)

And I thought they were talking about this magnetic toy that I have a few sets of and thought how odd. http://www.getbuckyballs.com/ [getbuckyballs.com]

Re:Buckyballs (1)

GlacierDragon (820368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127459)

Whereas I saw an article about a child having medical complications from swallowing buckyballs and wondered how he came in contact with buckminsterfullerines...

Re:Buckyballs (1)

photonyx (2507666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130527)

Bucky Badger [wikipedia.org] , the University of Wisconsin mascot, gives "buckyballs" a whole new dimension.

Kirby Krackles? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127481)

So all of Jack's old cosmic comics were right...

Next thing you know Stan Lee will be taking credit for buckyballs.

solid buckyball or solid made of buckyballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127533)

Im confused doesnt the headline indicate a filled in buckyball?

Buckyballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39127587)

At first, I thought they were talking about the magnetic little toys. I know I've used mine to create mini Gaussian acceleration devices. I just figured someone made a big enough one to achieve orbit.

Are they sure? (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127685)

Might just be bubble tea...

They're seeing what? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39127845)

Who installed a microscope in the telescope mount?

Re:They're seeing what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39128227)

I seriously wonder how they're being detected. The only thing telescopes can do is detect emission in the light spectrum. How are they able to detect something so small in space? How do they know they are stacking like that? How does light allow us to observe something like this?

I'm no lunatic, but ... ? (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134475)

I would very much like a knowledgeable person to explain how it can be that a telescope can be used to find molecule-size phenomena, when we have so often heard that we can't use a telescope to verify if there actually is NASA hardware on the moon "because it's too small to detect".

I once read a very good article (link long lost) about optical mirror angles, focus, and relative sizes of stuff in distant nebulae and on the moon surface. I wonder if a similar explanation exists for detecting these molecules.

Well, in the meantime, I'd better go RTFA!

Re:I'm no lunatic, but ... ? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135709)

I am not an astronomer but here is some info based on some basic understanding and our friend Google. Maybe someone else can contribute more.

Short answer:

1) We can see some things on the moon, especially some mirrors we left there, I think we can see the lunar lander too.

2) Just watch this video it rocks. You can match the light from a telescope against the light seen absorbed or emitted from atoms and molecules in the laboratory to tell what is out there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4yg4HTm3uk&feature=related [youtube.com]

Long answer:

First of all, we have indeed gone back and taken closeups of the Moon lots of times. You can see the lander. Also, NASA left mirrors called retroreflectors on the moon that reflect light back to you from any angle, and you can bounce a beam of light off them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector [wikipedia.org]
http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/04-15MoonLight.asp [ucsd.edu]

Regarding your main question, when light strikes an atom it may be absorbed or reflected. If absorbed, an electron of the atom is boosted into a higher energy state and when that electron drops back down it emits light of a given wavelength that matches the drop in energy of that electron. It works similarly with molecules made of lots of atoms.

If you spread the light you get from the telescope through a prism, you can see the spectrum of the light and it will show lines at wavelengths matching these electron transitions, so you will see lines representing the elements or molecules that are out there.

If you are looking in the microwave part of the spectrum you may see a microwave emission that comes from the vibration and rotation of asymmetric molecules like carbon monoxide.

And there are nebulae out in space that are being irradiated by ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, which emit their own characteristic wavelengths, these are emission nebulae.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_nebula [wikipedia.org]

So you can do experiments in the lab to see what wavelengths are absorbed and emitted by a given molecule, and try to match that to the wavelengths you see in the telescope.

Anyway, apparently for the buckyball molecules C60 and C70 (that's 60 or 70 carbon atoms in each spherical molecule) there are certain peaks in the spectra seen at energy levels 3.7eV, 4.7eV, and 5.7eV. These actual energy levels are in fact due to physical properties of the molecules, for example the difference between the C60 and C70 spectra has to do with the difference in shapes, one is a soccer ball and the other is a rugby ball.
(Source: http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/9401055 [arxiv.org] )

Apparently when they discovered C60 (buckminsterfullerene) in 1991 they were found characteristic emission lines in the infrared part of the spectrum that matched C60 and no other known substance.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0009261491902455 [sciencedirect.com]

Finally there seems to be a characteristic spectrum you get when these balls start stacking to make ordered arrays like pyramids or what have you. That's what they found. I guess they could see what shape the substance is in the lab with a scanning-tunnelling microscope (hey that's a pyramid) or maybe just theorize what a pyramid of buckyballs should look like, and then they happen to find the same wavelength in a telescope. Maybe the process was just the reverse of what I just described and they finally figured out what that wierd spectrum was.

This page explains a lot about how astronomers can tell what kinds of atoms and molecules are in space:
http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/spectra.html [illinois.edu]

Hope this helps you understand what is going on. Actually it was a lot of fun to go read these web pages to make sure I was not steering you wrong, and I learned a lot too. I believe it is possible

Matt

Re:I'm no lunatic, but ... ? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135715)

should end.. I believe it is possible to do experiments at home that show this kind of spectral lines for different substances, by using a prism and the light from a flame, or perhaps by shining light through a gas into a prism.

Re:I'm no lunatic, but ... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39137339)

Thank you for explaining that! You did so at the exact level of my ability to understand, with supporting references, and sated my curiosity, for now. Thank you.

Re:They're seeing what? (1)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135925)

I seriously wonder how they're being detected. The only thing telescopes can do is detect emission in the light spectrum.

This detection is by the Spitzer Space Telescope [wikipedia.org] , which looks at the infrared spectrum - not visible light. As for how they found particles so small, the answer is that they found a lot of them. The NASA press release [nasa.gov] states:

They found the particles around a pair of stars called "XX Ophiuchi," 6,500 light-years from Earth, and detected enough to fill the equivalent in volume to 10,000 Mount Everests. ... It even found them in staggering quantities [in gaseous form], the equivalent in mass to 15 Earth moons, in a nearby galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud. ...

Re:They're seeing what? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39141909)

How does light allow us to observe something like this?

Spectography!

Wow (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39128137)

That's some mean sonofabitch magnification factor! :0)

Really? (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130079)

I find this kind of bullsh*t mind blowing that some telescope can detect microscopic formations of bucky balls in space. Not space dust, not some kind of gaseous cloud, but actual god-damned bucky ball formation the width of a human hair.

And to what point. So what, I say. There is tonnes of crap deep in the cosmos that we can't even fathom, let alone detect, but now we know there are bucky balls out there somewhere, woohoo.

I think astronomers make sh*t up just to justify their lives. "Hey look, bucky balls exist in outer space, that is significant, how about handing us another 100 million dollars". And 20 years later they send up another telescope to determine in finer detail the structure of the bucky ball formation just so some squints can have meaningful employment for a few decades.

Of course who is going to follow up to prove they actually exist...other astronomers. No everyday-man is ever going to follow up on whether this is truth or not. "How do you know they exist out there?" they will ask. And after a barrage of bullsh*t math and physics terminology the everyday-guy is somehow supposed to be satisfied that this discovery is relevant and factual and will somehow apply to reality. Astronomy is purely self-fulfilling. There are no benefits to mankind that can ever be determined by pointing a telescope into space except to figure out someones fortune.

Sorry, I don't give a flying f*ck about bucky balls in space and if I found out my tax dollars were wasted on the effort I would be outraged. Solve the energy crisis first, solve global warming, solve cancer and discease, solve world hunger, solve any number of more meaningful pursuits. Once you are done and there is nothing left to solve, then spend your time finding out about spaceballs.

I can't imagine someone being more vapid then to write an article about bucky balls in space where there is real problems in the world. And they wonder why there is a growing concern over "anti-science" among the Internet masses. Its sh*t like this that makes you want to burn down the observatory.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130261)

The telescope doesn't see fullerenes (colloquially, Buckyballs). It sees the spectral signature of the fullerene molecule, which is unique and verifiable in a lab. No voodoo here, nothing made up. If you'd like to learn enough Physics to understand why real scientists are rolling their eyes at your rant, you should look into the book "Physics for Future Presidents". I taught a class from it, and can assure you that it will open your eyes to how the Physical phenomena that you seem to think aren't worth understanding actually affect you every day and in fact change the course of history.

Re:Really? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135695)

proof yet again that there should be a -1 idiocrasy mod

Spelling Nerd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130577)

Not to be the spelling nerd, but can someone fix the heading for this post? The guy's name is Bucky, not Buckey. It's spelled right everywhere else, which is great, but the heading is bad.

Darwin (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132833)

This is gonna make it tough for those Buckeys to reproduce.

donkeyballs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132957)

anyone else read this as donkeyballs ?

Could these be some of the Dark Matter? (1)

PurplePhase (240281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39138101)

If they're only now finding these structures in space, could buckyballs be part of the missing "dark" matter?

8-PP

Re:Could these be some of the Dark Matter? (1)

walter_f (889353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143483)

AFAIK, "dark matter" is supposed to be "exotic matter" so buckyball structures don't belong here.

Also, AFAIRC, it is called "dark" in the sense that it does not interact with light (photons) at all.
It doesn't reflect light, it doesn't absorb certain frequencies of light, either.

So spectrography (or is it spectroscopy?) - which has been used for the detection of the buckies mentioned in the article - wouldn't be of any help to detect dark matter, let alone analyze its internal structure.

Re:Could these be some of the Dark Matter? (1)

PurplePhase (240281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179895)

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the buckeyballs themselves are dark/undetectable matter. Instead that the whole invention of "dark matter" was a placeholder to explain all the extra mass that observations imply but instruments couldn't detect.

So if this is the first time scientists are detecting these buckey-structures in outer space, doesn't it seem logical that they 1) have mass, 2) weren't detected before, and therefore 3) could be a percent of the unknown matter ("dark" matter) that wasn't previously explainable?

8-PP

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>