November 2006

Dimethyl Ether

Dimethyl ether (DME, CH3OCH3) was observed by Snyder et al. in the Orion Nebula molecular cloud in 1974. A subsequent study from 1979 by Clark, Lovas, & Johnson identified additional, confirming rotational transitions beyond the single one from the initial report. The follow-up work also also observed DME in Sgr B2, as did Winnewisser & Gardner in 1976.

Dimethyl ether is a well-known organic molecule with a variety of applications, including refrigerant, aerosol propellant, and fuel. It is a cousin of diethyl ether, used as an early anesthetic.


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