April 2005


Acetone or (CH3)2CO was identified initially in Sgr B2 by Combes et al. in 1987. The discovery was confirmed in 2002 by Snyder et al., which localized the highest concentrations in the (N-LMH) ("Large Molecule Heimat") region of Sgr B2. As with many astromolecules, it was identified by means of its rotational spectrum.

Acetone (2-propanone) is the smallest ketone, where a carbonyl group has substituents on both sides. Ketones are close cousins of aldehydes, where the doubly-bonded oxygen is on a terminal rather than a central carbon.

Acetone is commonly used as a solvent in applications such as nail polish remover. It and other ketones can be produced in small amounts when fat is metabolized. Under some conditions, such as diabetes, ketosis can occur.

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