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News From the Field

One of life's building blocks found around infant, sun-like stars


June 8, 2017

image showing the region of star formation where methyl isocyanate was found Our solar system is teeming with simple carbon-based molecules, the basic building blocks of life. Detecting chemistry similar to Earth's around distant stars suggests a possible pathway to life on other worlds. Recently, astronomers using NSF-funded Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array found traces of the organic molecule around a multiple star system about 400 light-years from Earth. The newly emerging stars seem similar to what scientists believe would be versions our own sun. Full Story

Source
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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