Buckyballs thrive in space

According to NASA, its Spitzer Space Telescope has found little carbon spheres known as Buckyballs throughout our Milky Way galaxy, in the space between stars and around three dying stars.

Spitzer also detected a large number of Buckyballs–the equivalent in mass to about 15 of our moons–around a fourth dying star in a nearby galaxy.

Buckyballs, also known as fullerenes, are soccer-ball-shaped molecules consisting of 60 linked carbon atoms. They are named for their resemblance to the architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. Buckyballs inspired the shape of Spaceship Earth, Disney’s Epcot theme park’s giant ride in Orlando, Fla. Disney’s “Buckyball” has become the park’s main icon.

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The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

October 2010

Twitter from John Falcioni

Twitter from Engineering for Change

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