Aromatic space

Astronomers have used information from the US National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia and a lot of chemical understanding to reveal the presence of benzonitrile, an aromatic molecule that is thought to offer a missing link between simpler organic compounds and ubiquitous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which comprise about 10 percent of all the carbon in the universe. The discovery could explain why for at least thirty years astronomers have seen an infrared glow throughout space. This new data add to the evidence that PAHs are spread throughout interstellar space and may well account for the mysterious infrared glow over which astronomers have puzzled for decades.