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NASA Telescope Finds Elusive Buckyballs In Space For First Time

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posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:30 AM
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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope Site


PASADENA, Calif. -- Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as "buckyballs," in space for the first time. Buckyballs are soccer-ball-shaped molecules that were first observed in a laboratory 25 years ago.

They are named for their resemblance to architect Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, which have interlocking circles on the surface of a partial sphere. Buckyballs were thought to float around in space, but had escaped detection until now.


then there is a video which you have to click through to watch, and then the rest of the article.

i think that's cool. i remember when i first heard about buckyballs - i wondered if they would find them and if they did, would it be in my lifetime.

i don't know why i've always felt that these little dudes are somehow very important to what, i don't know - maybe our burgeoning understanding of the universe in which we live.

Buckminster Fuller is someone i totally see as being so far ahead of his time, he wasn't even taken seriously by some, scientists and laymen alike. and then there were some who knew he was a genius of a very peculiar sort. his geodesic dome design proves that he was exceedingly brilliant, imo.



....rechecking this post before i hit "post," i was suddenly reminded of the hexagram on Saturn's pole - isn't the section of a soccer ball a hexagram?




posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 02:22 AM
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Wait, maybe I'm missing something.
How does a space telescope "see" something atomic in size?


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 06:07 AM
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Originally posted by dethduck
Wait, maybe I'm missing something.
How does a space telescope "see" something atomic in size?
The same way we "see" all atoms in space, from their spectra.

That's what the graph shows in the article linked to the OP. c60 is shown by the pink peaks, and c70 by blue peaks in the spectral graphs:

www.nasa.gov...

[edit on 23-7-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
....rechecking this post before i hit "post," i was suddenly reminded of the hexagram on Saturn's pole - isn't the section of a soccer ball a hexagram?
A hexagram is otherwise known as the "star of David", you are thinking of a hexagon.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


oh, right.
thank you.
i didn't think that sounded right but it was late.


god forbid i mix science and religion.
just kidding.

still, i wonder what that shape on Saturn arises from, being a hexagon.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by queenannie38
 
Kind of off topic but since it's your thread and you asked, hopefully you won't complain if I answer that.

Here's an animated view of it:



Phage posted this lab experiment in another thread which duplicates the effect, resulting from fluid dynamics.

Pretty cool!



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 07:14 PM
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If I remember rightly "buckyballs" was kind of a nickname for them, their proper name was "buckminster fullerines". I like that better, personally, probably just because I like my science to sound technical. Calling them buckyballs is like naming a newly found star "Bob".



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 07:25 PM
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no, i don't mind at all!

thank you for that.
seems like i remember seeing that - it's been some time ago, hasn't it?

i wonder what exactly that is called, in the study of fluid dynamics - there are so many sub-topics in that area and i don't know the first place to look.

the reason i'm thinking of it, now, still, is that in the article it said that these fullerenes have possible applications related to super-conductivity.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
i wonder what exactly that is called, in the study of fluid dynamics - there are so many sub-topics in that area and i don't know the first place to look.
I'm only aware of two major subtopics, one for gases and one for liquids, but there are many applications within those:

www.scienceclarified.com...


The field of fluid dynamics is often subdivided into aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. Aerodynamics is the study of the way air flows around airplanes and automobiles with the aim of increasing the efficiency of motion. Hydrodynamics deals with the flow of water in various situations such as in pipes, around ships, and underground. Apart from the more familiar cases, the principles of fluid dynamics can be used to understand an almost unimaginable variety of phenomena such as the flow of blood in blood vessels, the flight of geese in V-formation, and the behavior of underwater plants and animals.



the reason i'm thinking of it, now, still, is that in the article it said that these fullerenes have possible applications related to super-conductivity.
Buckyballs (C60) are superconductive when doped with Potassium or other materials, but I'm not sure they are superconductive by themselves:

Superconductivity at 18 K in potassium-doped C60

Here are some buckyball applications being researched:

www.understandingnano.com...


A survey of buckyball applications under development:

Buckyballs may be used to trap free radicals generated during an allergic reaction and block the inflammation that results from an allergic reaction.

The antioxidant properties of buckyballs may be able to fight the deterioration of motor function due to multiple sclerosis.

Combining buckyballs, nanotubes, and polymers to produce inexpensive solar cells that can be formed by simply painting a surface.

Buckyballs may be used to store hydrogen, possibly as a fuel tank for fuel cell powered cars.

Buckyballs may be able to reduce the growth of bacteria in pipes and membranes in water systems.

Researchers are attempting to modify buckyballs to fit the section of the HIV molecule that binds to proteins, possibly inhibiting the spread of the virus.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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Interresting but big whoop.

What does this actually mean?

The article says:


Buckyballs jiggle, or vibrate, in a variety of ways -- 174 ways to be exact. Four of these vibrational modes cause the molecules to either absorb or emit infrared light. All four modes were detected by Spitzer.


But whats the upside of that?

Are there billions of these things clustered all either absorbing or emitting infrared light for some purpose?

Why would they have been expected to be seen in space in the first place?

When these were first observed in the lab, under what conditions were these discovered?

What is the significance of them?



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


oh, right.
thank you.
i didn't think that sounded right but it was late.


god forbid i mix science and religion.
just kidding.

still, i wonder what that shape on Saturn arises from, being a hexagon.


its late, and i am tired. i cannot look it up, but there was a thread here on ATS about 2-3 months ago explaining. It has to do with the fluid dynamics, and a series of eddies that spin off, constricting the curved, normal, circular line into a straight line. Right conditions, you get five eddies spaced evenly around the circle, causing it to look like a hexagon.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by queenannie38
no, i don't mind at all!

thank you for that.
seems like i remember seeing that - it's been some time ago, hasn't it?

i wonder what exactly that is called, in the study of fluid dynamics - there are so many sub-topics in that area and i don't know the first place to look.

the reason i'm thinking of it, now, still, is that in the article it said that these fullerenes have possible applications related to super-conductivity.


Ignore my previous post. I had this thread open in my browser for awhile and didn't refresh before replying to your question. Seems as though one of our bright minds here has given you a far better answer.

But regarding the above....keep in mind that space is cold. Very cold. Even those clouds of "superhot" gas are actually cold. To feel the heat you have to interact with the atoms, which are so widely dispersed as to keep you from really feeling the million degree heat.

With it being so cold in space, there are actions taken by our military to capitalize on this. Normal materials, everyday materials, become superconductors at space temperatures.

This is why they do experiements in space, and manufacture certain compounds in space. They cannot do the same here with gravity, and to run superconductors is far cheaper when you are in an environment that is already at the right temps.

Buckeyballs and carbon nanotubes have lots of potential as not only superconductors, but as energy storage as well. A paper battery was in the works (if Uncle Sam didn't suppress it) that would allow you to print a carbon film onto paper, and making it a battery. It has an indefinite shelf life, as it doesn't "leak" its electrons. It is cheap, and environmental. My concept was to make it more 3D in shape (like a block), and embed nanogenerators inside of it so you have a device that generates and stores electricity. Make this your building material to begin living "off the grid".

If it ever comes to market....



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