Home > Astronomy, Physics > My Old Prof Found Buckyballs in Space!

My Old Prof Found Buckyballs in Space!

I went to the University of Western Ontario (UWO). Its a great school, I had lots of fun. I also studied physics occasionally while I was there.

Physics and Astronomy Building at UWO

And one of my old professors just made headlines!

Dr. Jan Cami, an astronomer at UWO, recently published a paper in Science reporting that they have found ‘buckyballs’, carbon molecules made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere, in a planetary nebula known as Tc 1.

Buckyball, also known as Carbon-60

This is an important discovery because buckyballs have long been suspected of absorbing light from distant objects. They were able to find the buckyballs by studying the light from a white dwarf star within the nebula, and spotting the signature of Carbon-60 and Carbon-70.

The chemical signature from the dust of the planetary nebula matched exactly with the fullerenes C60 and C70. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Cami, University of Western Ontario/SETI Institute)

So congrats to Dr. Cami! I recall he postponed a meeting with me once so that he could buy tickets to see The Police. And I respected him more for it.

You are a great prof and a great guy. You work hard and this is the payoff.

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