back to article Spitzer spots first solid buckyballs in stellar disc

The first solid “buckyball” Carbon-60 molecules have been spotted forming a ring around a star 6,500 light-years away, according to data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. A new paper reports a pair of stars called "XX Ophiuchi," with what looks like a disc of the molecules - dubbed Buckminsterfullerene after the architect …


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  1. hplasm

    Hmm- the sign says-

    "Caution! Things at work. Heavy Planets Crossing. Ringworld under construction."

    1. jubtastic1
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hmm- the sign says-

      I was thinking grey goo, but I like your optimism.

    2. Richard Wharram

      Re: Hmm- the sign says-

      Ringworld was my first thought too :)

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    In El Reg Standard Units:

    That's 405 PetaJubs.

    You're welcome.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In El Reg Standard Units:

      PETA has Jubs?!

      I thought they only acted like boobies.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "Spitzer spots..."

    "What the hell is that NY attorney up to now?"

    "Hold on...."

    "Oh it's about spaaace."

    I confess to reading too much left-leaning headlines.

  4. Mystic Megabyte

    Breaking News

    Richard Branson , aboard his Virgin Galactic ship, has been sliced in half by a mono-filament disc while attempting a trans-orbital manoeuvre.

  5. Thomas 18

    Dyson sphere

    Only explanation

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: Dyson sphere

      Surely if it was a Dyson sphere we wouldn't be able to see the star. Maybe it takes the self-replicating nano-brickies a while to finish the job though.

  6. Andy 73

    Let's be honest though..

    ..we're talking about posh soot aren't we?

  7. Silverburn

    Boffinry FTW

    Analysing buckyballs 6,500 light years from Earth. How f*ing cool is that.

  8. Steven Roper

    Your artist should be spoken to

    Since the star in that picture is a very Sun-like G-class yellow, and a B-class star as referred to in the article is actually supposed to be blue. Remember your high-school astronomy - Wow! Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now Sweetie!

    1. Ru
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Your artist should be spoken to

      Perhaps you know more charming astronomers than I do, but the S of that mnemonic might be more correctly expanded as *slap*

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: Re: Your artist should be spoken to

        I learned the S as Smack!

    2. Luther Blissett

      The scientist should have been spoken to

      Recall the 2005 scrapping in the Grauniad between Katie Melua and Simon Singh over a mere 15% error in the former's lyrical assertion of the distance to the edge of the universe (cf IPCC). IMO Melua should have simply countered with "What? Oh Be a Fine Guy Kiss My Rear Now Simon".

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Carbon-60? Man that's heavy! What's the half-life? Can it be used to prove or disprove climate change or track sneaky criminals?

  10. PeterM42

    Life, Jim, but not as we know it.

    Sorry - I used to be a "Trekkie".

    Let's hope the Carbon doesn't combine with Oxygen anywhere to form CO2 or we are all DOOMED!!

    On no, sorry, that's all nonsense about CO2 destroying our planet/solar system/galaxy/whatever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Life, Jim, but not as we know it.

      Fascinating stuff, but how the hell can a telescope spot something less than the thickness of a hair 6500 light years away, or are they guessing.

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: Re: Life, Jim, but not as we know it.

        If it's a Big Mac you can see, you're not in Burger King!

  11. Nightkiller


    Will they just shorten the name from "BuckministerFullerene" to "fullerene"? No one refers to Einstein's theories as "AlbertEinsteinian". We already know that both were geniuses in their own right.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      I remember when fullerenes were discovered

      back in the 80s, and the word "fullerene" quickly came into general use then, in all the papers of the time. But somewhere in the late 90s the full name, buckminsterfullerene, came back. I'd assumed there had probably been some kind of intellectual property lawsuit from Buckminster Fuller's estate or something over the use of the word "fullerene" , since I can't think of anything else that would push people from using a shorter term to a longer polysyllabic one.

  12. SirDigalot
    Paris Hilton


    coz it sounds like something paris would play with

    that is all...

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