“No Organics” Zone

i-f621bd5e0c164407d1491c0c9dea6447-260751main_A-M101-IRAC-MIPS-516.jpg

The Pinwheel galaxy, otherwise known as Messier 101, sports bright reddish edges in this new infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Research from Spitzer has revealed that this outer red zone lacks organic molecules present in the rest of the galaxy. The red and blue spots outside of the spiral galaxy are either foreground stars or more distant galaxies.

The organics, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are dusty, carbon-containing molecules that help in the formation of stars. On Earth, they are found anywhere combustion reactions take place, such as barbeque pits and exhaust pipes. Scientists also believe this space dust has the potential to be converted into the stuff of life.

So, just as I suspected: There are no Webers or Automobiles in the outer reaches of the spiral galaxies!

More details here.

Comments

  1. #1 Blind Squirrel FCD
    July 22, 2008

    Organic. Now there is a word whose original meaning has been left far,far behind.