December 2003

Ethylene Glycol

Ethylene glycol, C2H6O2, is a dialcohol. As a polyhydroxylated species, it is closely related to sugars. However, most people know ethylene glycol as one of the two common forms of automotive antifreeze, along with propylene glycol. This connection figured into the press release that announced the discovery of interstellar ethylene glycol in 2002 by Hollis et al.

Like many other detections of interstellar molecules, ethylene glycol was identified in by means of radioastronomy. It was first found in the constellation Sagittarius in the object known as Sgr B2, an active star-forming region.

JUNE 2004: Earlier this year, the detection of ethylene glycol in data from comet Hale-Bopp was reported by Crovisier et al.

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