An artist's concept of graphene, buckyballs and C70 superimposed on an image of the Helix planetary nebula (Image: IAC/NASA/NOAO/ESA/STScI/NRAO)
Human beings may have only discovered how to create the one-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms known as graphene in 2004 but it appears the universe could have been churning out the stuff since much earlier than that. While not conclusive proof its existence in space, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has identified the signature of graphene in two small galaxies outside our own. If confirmed, it would be the first-ever cosmic detection of the material and could hold clues to how our carbon-based life forms such as ourselves developed.
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