text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
Search Multimedia
Image
Video
Audio
More
Multimedia in the News
NSF Executive Staff
News Archive
 

Email this pagePrint this page
Sugar Molecules in Gas Surrounding Young, Sun-like Star


Molecules of glycolaldehyde have been found in gas surrounding young binary star IRAS 16293-2422

A team of astronomers has found molecules of glycolaldehyde--a simple form of sugar--in the gas surrounding a young binary star called IRAS 16293-2422, with similar mass to the sun. This is the first time sugar has been found in space around such a star. The discovery shows that the building blocks of life are in the right place at the right time for inclusion in planets forming around the star. The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect the molecules.

This image shows the Rho Ophiuchi star-forming region in infrared light, as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE). IRAS 16293-2422 is the red object in the center of the small square. The inset image is an artist's impression of glycolaldehyde molecules and shows glycolaldehyde's molecular structure (C2H4O2). Carbon atoms are gray, oxygen atoms are red and hydrogen atoms are white. In the main infrared image, blue and cyan represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 micrometers, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 micrometers, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

ALMA is an international astronomy facility that is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. It is funded in part by the National Science Foundation. To learn more, visit the ALMA website. (Date of Image: unknown)

Credit: ESO/L. Calšada and NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

Special Restrictions:
Before using this image, please read the ALMA "Terms of Use."

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (1.4 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

 



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page