eldavojohn writes: Slashdot has covered organic compounds in meteorites as well as in stellar ejecta but now scientists are claiming to have found sugar — glycoaldehyde to be exact — surrounding a star with the aid of the radio telescope Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The results were peer reviewed in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and a PDF release of the paper is available. From an explanation of how they detected this: 'The gas and dust clouds that collapse to form new stars are extremely cold and many gases solidify as ice on the particles of dust where they then bond together and form more complex molecules. But once a star has been formed in the middle of a rotating cloud of gas and dust, it heats the inner parts of the cloud to around room temperature, evaporating the chemically complex molecules, and forming gases that emit their characteristic radiation as radio waves that can be mapped using powerful radio telescopes such as ALMA.'
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