New Map Of Galaxy’s ‘Mysterious Molecules’ May Help Solve Old Cosmic Puzzle
Scientists may be one step closer to solving a cosmic puzzle that’s had astronomers scratching their heads for nearly a century.
It all started in 1922, when American astronomer Mary Lea Heger noticed that certain wavelengths were consistently absent in the light emitted by binary star systems in the constellations Orion and Scorpius. Since then, other scientists have identified many more of these “diffuse interstellar bands.”
Subsequent research showed that something in interstellar space was absorbing the missing wavelengths before they reached Earth. Evidence pointed to various complex molecules scattered across the Milky Way, though astronomers have been unable to determine exactly what they are.
Now, two teams of scientists from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have created a map that shows where in our galaxy the mysterious molecules are located.
The researchers hope this map–created with the help of new data-processing techniques–will finally make it possible to analyze the composition and properties of the molecules.
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“For the first time, we can see how these mysterious molecules are moving around the galaxy,” Dr. Gail Zasowski, a post-doctoral researcher at the university and one of the astronomers behind the new research, said in —> Read More Here