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Behold, the Chocolate Universe

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posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 08:23 PM
October 11, 2005-NASA has announced a new change to the way we look at our universe. The discovery of interstellar organic compounds is not new, but the latest discovery of large quantities of organic compounds critical to the formation of life, is important news. The key factor, is the discovery of nitrogen in the depths of interstellar space. It can be found in a organic form similar to chlorophyll, ejected into space around dying stars. Another of the complex organic molecules discovered, is a main ingredient in chocolate. These organic molecules belong to a group called polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles, or PANHs. New analysis of infra-red observations of deep space, reveal that these important building blocks of life are in abundance everywhere in the universe. It is believed that this might be an important factor in the creation of life, wherever it might be found.
"Much of the chemistry of life, including DNA, requires organic molecules that contain nitrogen," said team member Louis Allamandola, an astrochemist at Ames. "Chlorophyll, the substance that enables photosynthesis in plants, is a good example of this class of compounds, called polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles, or PANHs. Ironically, PANHs are formed in abundance around dying stars. So even in death, the seeds of life are sewn," Allamandola said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

A "Green Universe", or a "Chocolate Universe", either way, the polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles, or PANHs, are everywhere in intersteller space, around suns, and scattered throughout the planets, asteroids, and comets. Organic life is everywhere, and it might be the source of life throughout the universe.

It's a sobering thought, to think that life throughout the universe, might come from the universe itself. But the thought isn't anything new either. The idea goes back 2,500 years, to the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras. Only recently, has any proof of an abundance of organic molecules in space been detected.

The various news groups, picked up on the fact that these molecules are similar to chocolate, and ran with that as their major headlines. But whether it's green or chocolate, these are the organic building blocks of life. It's the "primordial soup", that scientists have long conjectured would be required for life to evolve on Earth. Always trying to find out how these molecules could have been created spontaneously, it now appears that they have been around for a long time, they are an important part of the universe itself.

Comet Tempel 1, that was hit by The Deep Impact probe, also produced evidence of organic molecules packed away inside the comet. The belief that organic life in space, creates life on planets, is coming back into popularity.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
NASA Discovers Life's Building Blocks Are Common In Space

[edit on 29-10-2005 by asala]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 09:24 PM
I guess I don't find it too surprising that the universe contains the building blocks of life as we know it. But, and interesting article nonetheless.


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