Critical Chemicals Needed for Life Found in Distant Galaxy

Astronomers have detected methanimine and hydrogen cyanide in a galaxy 250 million light years away.

Using the Arecibo Radio Telescope, astronomer Christopher Salter discovered these molecules essential to life in the galaxy ARP 220.
These molecules make the amino acid glycine when combined with water. They were found with the radio telescope searching for emissions at specific frequencies.

Tapasi Ghosh, an Arecibo astronomer said “We weren’t targeting any particular molecule, so we didn’t know what we were going to find—we just started searching, and what we found was incredibly exciting.” These astronomers have been able to observe these substances at a vast distance. It’s interesting to find these chemicals in large quantities where there are other stars and planets.

Using these techniques we can expect more great discoveries to follow.

Leave a Reply