Has graphene been detected in space?

Artist's impression of the graphenes (C24) and fullerenes found in a Planetary Nebula. The detection of graphenes and fullerenes around old stars as common as our Sun suggests that these molecules and other allotropic forms of carbon may be widespread in space. Credits: IAC; original image of the Helix Nebula (NASA, NOAO, ESA, the Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner, STScI, & T.A. Rector, NRAO.)

A team of astronomers, using the Spitzer Space Telescope, have reported the first extragalactic detection of the C70 fullerene molecule, and the possible detection of planar C24 (“a piece of graphene”) in space. Letizia Stanghellini and Richard Shaw, members of the team at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona describe how collisional shocks powered by the winds from old stars in planetary nebulae could be responsible for the formation of fullerenes (C60 and C70) and graphene (planar C24). The team is led by Domingo Anibal Garcia-Hernandez of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in Spain and includes international astronomers and biochemists.

via Has graphene been detected in space?.

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