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Spectral data reveals the presence of organic compounds in the stellar disk orbiting the protostar IRS 46. Astronomers were able to make the first discovery of acetylene, hrodogen cyanide and carbon dioxide in a stellar disk by breaking the starlight into its component wavelengths, or colors.

Acetylene, hydrogen cyanide and carbon dioxide have been found to form organic compounds including amino acids and a DNA purine base under certain conditions. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC).


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