New Molecules

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Astronomers have discovered two new molecules in an interstellar cloud of gas and dust near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The discovery, announced Monday by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., marks the Green Bank Telescope's first detection of new molecules.

The discovery is helping astronomers better understand the complex processes by which large molecules form in space, according to the NRAO. The eight-atom molecule propenal and the 10-atom molecule propanal were detected 26,000 light years from Earth in an area known as Sagittarius B2. Interstellar clouds such as the one in which the molecules were detected are often many light-years across, and contain the raw material from which new stars are formed.

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20040623/D83CTF280.html
 
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