Monday, March 8, 2010

Stellar Nanotubes

In 2008, carbon nanostructures that looked like long carbon nanotubes were
identified in three meteorites. This was surprising because on earth, the temperatures and pressures associated with making carbon fullerene structures were/are very energy intensive and involve very toxic and/or expensive catalysts. However, scientists are now looking at ways to mimic interstellar reactions to create carbon fullerine structures.

Which is appropriate because the first carbon fullerene structures that were identified by Kroto, Curl and Smalley at Rice University, were bucky balls or soccerball shaped structures of carbon. The discovery of the buckyball came out of investigations of carbon structures in interstellar space.

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