Space Buckyballs

PASADENA, Calif. — Astronomers using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space. Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres had been found only in gas form in the cosmos.

Formally named buckministerfullerene, buckyballs are named after their resemblance to the late architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. They are made up of 60 carbon molecules arranged into a hollow sphere, like a soccer ball. Their unusual structure makes them ideal candidates for electrical and chemical applications on Earth, including superconducting materials, medicines, water purification and armor.

Details and more at NASA

Comments

  1. #1 notedscholar
    February 22, 2012

    Yet another non-space-travel-related victory for NASA’s public relations committee! It’s good that NASA is (1) finding valuable tasks and (2) able to publicise them effectively.

    It is also encouraging to see the work of an independent scholar, Buckminster Fuller, come to some fruition. This should be an inspiration to all kids, including ones who don’t want to enter into academia formally! I know Fuller was definitely an early influence on me, as I have always said in my bio.

    Cheers,
    NS

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