EMBARGOED UNTIL 22 JULY 2010 Detection of C60

EMBARGOED UNTIL 22 JULY 2010 Detection of C60

EMBARGOED UNTIL 22 JULY 2010 Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula Jan Cami,1,2* Jeronimo Bernard-Salas,3,4 Els Peeters,1,2 Sarah Elizabeth Malek1

Here, we report on the environment of Tc1, a peculiar PN whose infrared spectrum shows emission from cold and neutral C60 and C70. The two molecules amount to a few percent of the available cosmic carbon in this region, showing that if the conditions are right,

fullerenes can and do form efficiently in space. Interstellar dust makes up only a small fraction of the Detection of C60 and C70 in a Young Planetary Nebula Jan Cami,1,2* Jeronimo Bernard-Salas,3,4 Els Peeters,1,2 Sarah

Elizabeth Malek1 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7, Canada. 2SETI Institute, 515 North Whisman Road, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. 3222 Space Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

14853, USA. 4Institut dAstrophysique Spatiale, CNRS/Universit Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay, France. *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]

In the last decades, a number of molecules and diverse dust features have been identified by astronomical observations in various environments. Most of the dust that determines the physical and chemical characteristics of the interstellar medium (ISM), is formed in the

outflows of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and is further processed when these objects become planetary nebulae (PNe). Here, we report on the environment of Tc 1, a peculiar PN whose infrared spectrum shows emission from cold and neutral C60 and C70. The two molecules

amount to a few percent of the available cosmic carbon in this region, showing that if the conditions are right, fullerenes can and do form efficiently in space. Interstellar dust makes up only a small fraction of the

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