Grease like molecules abundant in space

According to an Australia-Turkish research team, grease-like particles are abundant within space. Astronomers both in the University of New South Wales located in Sydney as well as Ege University which is located in Turkey have used laboratories to build up materials that have the same features as that of the interstellar dust. The researchers have after that used the outcomes to find out the amount of “space grease” that is available in the Milky Way. The results of such research have been evident in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Carbon is considered to be one of the vital elements for supporting life, and it is found in different kinds of organic matters. However, there is much doubt about its availability in vast quantity. It is learning to find out the fact that only half the carbon expected is traced between the stars in its pure form. Remaining of the elements is chemically formed in two primary forms such as grease-like (aliphatic) and mothball-like (aromatic).

In such a situation the research team of the University of New South Wales, as well as the Ege University, took resort to a laboratory to form an element which would be made up of the same material and contain the same properties as that of the interstellar dust. The researchers did a useful mimicking of the process with the help of which organic molecules are synthesized within the outflows of the carbon stars. This is done by resorting to expanding of a carbon-containing plasma into a vacuum at a shallow temperature.

The material was gathered and after that analyzed by applying a couple of techniques. In the beginning, they asked the use of magnetic resonance as well as spectroscopy whereby they could how strongly the element absorbed light with a significant amount of infrared wavelength which is a marker for aliphatic carbon. According to Tim Schmidt, who is the professor at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, they combine the results of the lab tests as well as the astronomical observations to arrive at the conclusions finally.

The researchers revealed that there are close to 100 greasy carbon atoms from every million hydrogen atoms which occupy a quarter and a half of the available carbon. In fact in the Milky Way Galaxy, this quantity rises to 10 billion or maybe trillion of greasy matter. The research team now has the intention to experiment with the mothball-like carbon which will be much more challenging.