Unearthing the Origins of Life?
In a pioneering breakthrough, an international team has detected carbonic acid in interstellar space, potentially reshaping theories about life’s building blocks.
While examining the molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027 near our galaxy’s center, the team discovered carbonic acid. Previously, only acetic and formic acid, both carboxylic acids like carbonic acid, had been found in such vast expanses. Their presence in distant space bolsters theories that Earth might’ve received these elements from meteorites or comets.
Carbonic Acid’s Role on Earth
Here on our planet, carbonic acid results from CO2 dissolving in water, lending that tangy taste to soft drinks. Alarmingly, it’s also causing our oceans to grow more acidic as atmospheric CO2 levels rise.
Though carbonic acid sightings are reported on celestial bodies like Jupiter’s moons and even Mars, its detection in deep space is a first. This implies a complex interstellar medium, potentially teeming with amino-acid-linked compounds. The quest to discover other acids, including glycolic and glycine, now seems more promising.
Interestingly, carbonic acid’s elusiveness in space, despite its possible abundance, can be attributed to its invisibility to radio astronomical observations.
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