from the sweetness-and-light dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Sweet tooths rejoice! 400 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, sugar molecules have been confirmed in a gas cloud surrounding a young star. The star, IRAS 16293-2422, though early in its life is relativity close to the size of our Sun. It is part of a Binary star system. '"In the disk of gas and dust surrounding this newly formed star, we found glycolaldehyde, which is a simple form of sugar, not much different to the sugar we put in coffee," study lead author Jes Jorgensen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, said in a statement.' Glycolaldehyde has been found before in space, but never this close to a Sun-like planet. In fact 'the molecules are about the same distance away from the star as the planet Uranus is from our sun.' This discovery proves that the building blocks of life could have possibly existed in the earlier parts of our own solar system. This particular sugar reacts with propenal to form ribose, which is a major component for organic life on Earth."
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