Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hubble Spots Complex Carbon Compounds on Pluto

Complex Carbon Compounds does not mean organic, but it could.

"The Hubble Space Telescope has sniffed out evidence of complex carbon molecules, the building blocks of life in this corner of the cosmos, lying on the frozen surface of Pluto. The distant dwarf world is known to harbor methane ice and other frigid compounds, but this is the first time scientists have suggested there could be other complex carbon chemicals, too.

Something is absorbing ultraviolet light on Pluto’s surface, and it may be organic compounds or some nitrogen-containing material, according to scientists at the Southwest Research Institute. That’s organic not as in life, but as in carbon-based compounds that make up the building blocks of life as we know it right now.

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