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Detection of C₆₀ and C₇₀ in a Young Planetary Nebula

Jan Cami, Jeronimo Bernard-Salas, Els Peeters and Sarah Elizabeth Malek
Science
New Series, Vol. 329, No. 5996 (3 September 2010), pp. 1180-1182
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40803052
Page Count: 3
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Detection of C₆₀ and C₇₀ in a Young Planetary Nebula
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Abstract

In recent decades, a number of molecules and diverse dust features have been identified by astronomical observations in various environments. Most of the dust that determines the physical and chemical characteristics of the interstellar medium is formed in the outflows of asymptotic giant branch stars and is further processed when these objects become planetary nebulae. We studied the environment of Tc 1, a peculiar planetary nebula whose infrared spectrum shows emission from cold and neutral C₆₀ and C₇₀. The two molecules amount to a few percent of the available cosmic carbon in this region. This finding indicates that if the conditions are right fullerenes can and do form efficiently in space.

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