Interstellar iron isn't missing, it's just hiding in plain sight

Interstellar iron isn't missing, it's just hiding in plain sight
Carbon-chain molecules as complex as C60 buckminsterfullerenes -- 'buckyballs' -- may form in space with the help of clustered iron atoms, according to new work by ASU cosmochemists. The work also explains how these iron clusters hide out inside common carbon-chain molecules. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astrophysicists know that iron (chemical symbol: Fe) is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, after lightweight elements such as hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Iron is most commonly found in gaseous form in stars such as the Sun, and in more condensed form in planets such as Earth.

Iron in interstellar environments should also be common, but astrophysicists detect only low levels of the gaseous kind. This implies that the missing exists in some kind of solid form or molecular state, yet identifying its hiding place has remained elusive for decades.

A team of cosmochemists at Arizona State University, with support from the W.M. Keck Foundation, now claims that the mystery is simpler than it seems. The iron isn't really missing, they say. Instead it's hiding in plain sight. The iron has combined with to form called iron pseudocarbynes. The spectra of these chains are identical with the much more common chains of carbon molecules, long known to be abundant in interstellar space.

The team's work was published late in June in the Astrophysical Journal.

"We are proposing a new class of molecules that are likely to be widespread in the interstellar medium," said Pilarasetty Tarakeshwar, research associate professor in ASU's School of Molecular Sciences. His coauthors, Peter Buseck and Frank Timmes, are both in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration; Buseck, an ASU Regents Professor, is also in the School of Molecular Sciences with Tarakeshwar.

The team examined how clusters containing only a few atoms of metallic iron might join with chains of carbon molecules to produce molecules combining both elements.

Interstellar iron isn't missing, it's just hiding in plain sight
Iron pseudocarbynes are likely widespread in the interstellar medium, where extremely cold temperatures would lead carbon chains to condense on the Fe clusters. Over eons, complex organic molecules would to emerge from these Fe pseudocarbynes. The model shows a hydrogen-capped carbon chain attached to an Fe13 cluster (iron atoms are reddish brown, carbon is gray, hydrogen is light gray). Credit: P. Tarakeshwar/ASU

Recent evidence obtained from stardust and meteorites indicate the widespread occurrence of clusters of iron atoms in the cosmos. In the extremely cold temperatures of interstellar space, these iron clusters act as deep-freeze particles, enabling carbon chains of various lengths to stick to them, thus producing different molecules from those that can occur with the gaseous phase of iron.

Said Tarakeshwar, "We calculated what the spectra of these molecules would look like, and we found that they have spectroscopic signatures nearly identical to carbon-chain molecules without any iron." He added that because of this, "Previous astrophysical observations could have overlooked these carbon-plus-iron molecules."

That means, the researchers say, the missing iron in the is actually out in plain view but masquerading as common carbon-chain molecules.

The new work may also solve another longstanding puzzle. Carbon chains with more than nine atoms are unstable, the team explains. Yet observations have detected more complex carbon molecules in . How nature builds these complex carbon molecules from simpler carbon molecules has been a mystery for many years.

Buseck explained, "Longer carbon chains are stablized by the addition of iron clusters." This opens a new pathway for building more complex molecules in space, such as , of which naphthalene is a familiar example, being the main ingredient in mothballs.

Said Timmes, "Our work provides new insights into bridging the yawning gap between molecules containing nine or fewer atoms and complex molecules such as C60 buckminsterfullerene, better known as 'buckyballs.'"


Explore further

Constraining the chemistry of carbon-chain molecules in space

More information: Pilarisetty Tarakeshwar et al, On the Structure, Magnetic Properties, and Infrared Spectra of Iron Pseudocarbynes in the Interstellar Medium, The Astrophysical Journal (2019). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab22b7
Journal information: Astrophysical Journal

Citation: Interstellar iron isn't missing, it's just hiding in plain sight (2019, July 9) retrieved 13 July 2019 from http://www.shbbaagg.com/news/2019-07-interstellar-iron-isnt-plain-sight.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 09, 2019
The amount of Apparently Missing Iron, and it's inherent magnetic properties would likely have an extremely large impact on those things presently mis-named dark matter and energy. Widespread iron filings throughout the universe, especially with some carbon riding to fill it out and harden it, would make very tough, very tiny myriads of tiny magnets that would certainly have their impact on any plasma around them, carrying the magnetic field stronger and farther than they would the gravitational attraction.

Recent studies show that 'gravity' can take all kinds of changes to it's parameters and still almost always forms a spiral galaxy and other forms we see at different mass levels. With this kind of find we can see how the widespread magnetic fields now proven to not only exist across large galaxies like our own, or even across large galactic clusters, but also can Bridge massive clusters of galaxies and the widespread Magnetism can no longer be ignored or derided as it has been.

Jul 09, 2019
These chains of molecules are of decided importance, they are the skeletal structure of the Plasma Universe.

http://plasmauniv...vCos.pdf

Jul 09, 2019
Yes. Iron atoms and molecules are floating out there in the vacuous vacuum of Space, along with all other sorts of Quantum Particles and Waves and such that are all essential and crucial to the very existence of Space. Matter in quantum sizes makes it possible for such things as Electromagnetism and Gravity to work their wonders. Bringing matter together or moving it apart is what is responsible for dust and gases accreting and becoming planets and Stars.
These are all a part of the Great Program/Blueprint.

Jul 09, 2019
@Steelwolf
These tiny iron magnets you mentioned would each have a negative charge on one end and a positive charge on its other end. Billions of them gathered together in any given area of Space would produce an EM/magnetic field. And if so, the Field would necessarily attract the iron in matter such as galaxies. Depending on the positions of each tiny iron magnet within the EM/magnetic field, and the ones within matter such as galaxies - it may be possible that it is the Field that is moving mass, either being repulsed or attracted, yes?

Jul 10, 2019
The amount of Apparently Missing Iron, and it's inherent magnetic properties would likely have an extremely large impact on those things presently mis-named dark matter and energy. Widespread iron filings throughout the universe, especially with some carbon riding to fill it out and harden it, would make very tough, very tiny myriads of tiny magnets that would certainly have their impact on any plasma around them, carrying the magnetic field stronger and farther than they would the gravitational attraction.


Complete and utter nonsense.


Jul 10, 2019
These chains of molecules are of decided importance, they are the skeletal structure of the Plasma Universe.

http://plasmauniv...vCos.pdf


Lol. Which isn't there! Where are your giant currents? Why give us yet another non-event, 20 year old paper, in a totally inappropriate journal? Apart from self-citing, and cites by Peratt, it has been rightly ignored.
Get yourself up to date. Go look at the COBE, WMAP and Planck data. All freely accessible. Show us these currents in a peer-reviewed paper. No bugger else has been interested in this Nobel worthy discovery. Perhaps you could be the first! Just learn some science, learn some maths and learn how to access and interpret the data. Easy. Real scientists do it all the time.
Or, you could just keep posting idiotic woo in places like this. I think we know what choice the scientifically illiterate denizens of EU will choose! And it won't be science. It never is.

Jul 10, 2019
6 atoms per cubic meter can't conduct any electric current. Any EE can see this. Cantdrive85 pretends EE is magic and can do anything.

Cantdrive85 do you have a theory that a star traveling 50 km/s generates it's own power or something by the actual motion not fusion?

Jul 11, 2019
There's iron in it! It must be plasma!

Jul 11, 2019
6 atoms per cubic meter can't conduct any electric current. Any EE can see this. Cantdrive85 pretends EE is magic and can do anything.

Hannes Alfvén, an EE and Prof of EM theory and Prof of Plasma Physics disagreed with your erroneous claim. He wrote;
"In order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents. Space is filled with a network of currents which transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances. The currents often pinch to filamentary or surface currents. The latter are likely to give space, as also interstellar and intergalactic space, a cellular structure."
You are clearly wrong in your claim.

Jul 11, 2019
6 atoms per cubic meter can't conduct any electric current. Any EE can see this. Cantdrive85 pretends EE is magic and can do anything.

Cantdrive85 do you have a theory that a star traveling 50 km/s generates it's own power or something by the actual motion not fusion?
says O_C_C

Perhaps Motion/Momentum itself is capable of emitting Energy that could be absorbed by the iron referred to in the article, and then retransmitted as electrical currents in Space.

Jul 11, 2019
Which isn't there! Where are your giant currents?

jonesdumb prefers to curl up in its protective cocoon of willful ignorance and pretends his gaslight era beliefs haven't been rendered nonsense.
http://www.shbbaagg.com/...ies.html
http://www.shbbaagg.com/...ers.html
There are many more articles, but no need to show her how wrong she is.

Jul 11, 2019
Bicycle riding transfers the energy that is transferred from momentum of the legs to the pedals, which in turn moves the wheels. Energy is being produced by the human on the bicycle. If something is attached to the bicycle wheels such as a group of iron bars under the wheels, the iron bars will turn also.
A Star traveling through Space comes into contact with quantum particles and waves. Therefore, why couldn't the energy and momentum from the Star's collision with very fine matter cause a transference of that energy to iron particles, causing an electrical current or spark?

Jul 11, 2019
No? Yes? Maybe?

Jul 11, 2019
A star is plasma, it is spinning in a plasma, as such it will create an electromotive force.

Jul 11, 2019
A star is plasma, it is spinning in a plasma, as such it will create an electromotive force.


But yet it is undetectable, why?

Jul 11, 2019
A star is plasma, it is spinning in a plasma, as such it will create an electromotive force.


But yet it is undetectable, why?

Claiming we don't detect it is disingenuous, we can and do observe electric currents and magnetic fields.

Jul 11, 2019
No? Yes? Maybe?

Maybe.

Jul 11, 2019
Not the forum for details, but in general the energy transferred by by a star's relative motion through electric and magnetic fields would be very small in relation to all the other energy being produced. The transfer is there but is ignored for the time being as not being relevant.
General Relativity is much more exact than Newton's rules, but, we used Newton to get to the moon because the difference in the real world was too small to matter.

The conductivity of iron in open space has not so far had an observable effect on stellar motions. Although at some level an effect does have to exist, however tiny.

Jul 12, 2019
C-Code, is closer to 6 atoms per cubic cm, not m, and the solar wind is also going by at several hundred KPS, so multiply those 6 atoms (average of iron mass) by the centimeters to meter, is 600 atoms in the first meter and in the one second timeframe there would be some 240 million per second, with our average solar wind speed.

That is a fair bit of current even across only a square centimeter in one second. Space is NOT 'Empty' in any sense of the word.

And C-Code, we can do without the ancient strawmen you keep pulling out and were debunked last century.

Jul 12, 2019


That is a fair bit of current even across only a square centimeter in one second. Space is NOT 'Empty' in any sense of the word.



It is zero current! + - + - + -, etc. How many times do these EU idiots need to be told this? Learn some plasma physics before making such silly comments.

Jul 12, 2019
Which isn't there! Where are your giant currents?

jonesdumb prefers to curl up in its protective cocoon of willful ignorance and pretends his gaslight era beliefs haven't been rendered nonsense.
http://www.shbbaagg.com/...ies.html
There are many more articles, but no need to show her how wrong she is.


So link to the papers that detect these currents, you idiot. Those articles are nothing to do with electric currents, you clown. Get an education.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

欧洲杯竞猜