Finding the Sweet Spot in Space

[audio: st20120903.mp3]
Astronomers have made a “sweet” discovery some 400 light years away in a molecular cloud around a star. It might be characterized as sweet since they came across a substance called Glycolaldehyde — a form of sugar not far from regular table sugar. If you were to combine that substance with Propanol you get a molecule that could be a major building block of life in space. Scientists are always on the hunt for the origin of life in our universe and this is just another step forward. Earth is unique, because we orbit a singular star, but what about binary star systems? Scientists are finding lots of variations of planets that are orbiting a binary star, which means that the stars are orbiting a common point and then the planet is orbiting those stars. What does this mean for these planets? They could be developing atmospheres or becoming more Earth like. Also, in remembrance of Neil Armstrong’s historic visit to the moon, his family is suggesting that we wink at the moon in his honor, but don’t forget to take a look at Mars and Saturn while your out there. All this and more on this week’s SkyTalk.

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