Sugar molecules in the gas surrounding a young Sun-like star (zoom)

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 starts with a broad panorama of the spectacular central regions of the Milky Way seen in visible light. It then zooms in to the Rho Ophiuchi star-forming region in infrared light, highlighting IRAS 16293-2422. Finally, we see an artist's impression of glycolaldehyde molecules, showing glycolaldehyde's molecular structure (C2H4O2).


ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / Nick Risinger ( / S. Guisard ( / L. Calçada (ESO) & NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
Music: Disasterpeace

About the Video

Release date:29 August 2012, 12:00
Related releases:eso1234
Duration:01 m 11 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:IRAS 16293-2422, Molecules
Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Protostar
Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk : Protoplanetary



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