While searching and searching in the Milky Way, scientists have found the start of life-bearing chemistry right at the centre.
Yes, that’s right, another confirmation that we may not be alone. Iso-propyl cyanide has been found in a cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth. Wonder how long that must have taken to get to…
This may mean the ingredients to life are dotted around our very own galaxy. Although various organic molecules have been found before in interstellar space, this is the first time i-propyl cyanide has been discovered- the first with a branched carbon backbone.
This means that the interstellar space could be the origin of more complex branched molecules, such as amino acids, that we have on Earth and are necessary for life.
Dr Arnaud Belloche, lead author of research at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy said, “Amino acids on Earth are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are very important for life as we know it. The question in the background is: is there life somewhere else in the galaxy?”
He also explained how the goal is to look for new “complex organic molecules” in the Milky Way.
While other molecules have been found, the i-propyl cyanide is the largest and most complex found to date.
Scientists are trying to find out whether the elements that are needed for life to form can be found in other areas.
“It’s a step closer to discovering molecules that can be regarded as the building blocks or the precursors… of amino acids.”
If these amino acids are widespread throughout our galaxy, life may be too…
By Hannah Williams