'Missing' Interstellar Iron May Just Be Good at Hiding

Space.com | 7/14/2019 | Yasemin Saplakoglu
abbycraig (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/rNnfGH6FBGT4SgE8wEWGxe-1200-80.jpg

Interstellar space should be filled with iron — one of the most common elements in the universe — but scientists have detected only very low amounts of it to date. Now, a new study suggests iron may not be missing, but just really good at hiding.

A group of researchers proposes that interstellar iron combines with a certain type of carbon chain to form molecules called iron pseudocarbynes. But because these iron pseudocarbynes register the same signature as carbon molecules on scientists' detection devices, the sneaky iron remained hidden, according to a statement from Arizona State University (ASU).

Class - Molecules - Medium - Author - Pilarisetty

"We are proposing a new class of molecules that are likely to be widespread in the interstellar medium," lead author Pilarisetty Tarakeshwar, research associate professor at ASU's School of Molecular Sciences said in the statement.

In the extremely cold temperatures of interstellar space, carbon chains might condense onto iron clusters to form these iron pseudocarbynes, they...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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