Skywatch

  • December 8, 2011

    Episode 367: Buckyballs

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    Shownotes

    Carbon atoms bond to each other to make a variety of materials, such as diamond and graphite. For more than 25 years, scientists have been experimenting with creating carbon structures. One interestingly stable structure is called Buckminsterfullerene, or Buckyballs. This carbon structure contains 60 carbon atoms bonded together in a shape like a soccer ball. Since carbon is abundant in space, astronomers have searched for such giant molecules occurring naturally, and found some in planetary nebulae outside the Milky Way.