Artist’s impression of glycolaldehyde molecules

A team of astronomers has found molecules of glycolaldehyde — a simple form of sugar — in the gas surrounding a young binary star, with similar mass to the Sun, called IRAS 16293-2422. This is the first time sugar been found in space around such a star, and the discovery shows that the building blocks of life are in the right place, at the right time, to be included in planets forming around the star. The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect the molecules.

This video shows an artist’s impression of glycolaldehyde molecules, showing glycolaldehyde’s molecular structure (C2H4O2). Carbon atoms are shown as grey, oxygen atoms as red, and hydrogen atoms as white.

Credit:

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/L. Calçada (ESO)

About the Video

Id:eso1234b
Release date:29 August 2012, 12:00
Related releases:eso1234
Duration:26s

About the Object

Name:IRAS 16293-2422, Molecules
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Protostar
• Unspecified : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Protostar
• X - ALMA

HD


Large

Large QT
5.6 MB

Medium

Video Podcast
4.3 MB
Medium MPEG-1
10.4 MB
Medium Flash
5.2 MB

Small

Small Flash
2.5 MB
Small QT
1.3 MB

For Broadcasters

Broadcast SD
133.1 MB

Also see our