Cyclopropenone, c-H2C3O, was recently detected by
Hollis et al. in
Sgr B2(N) using the
Green Bank Telescope. It is another
species with possible implications for the
origin of life.
Cyclopropenone is one of several cyclic three-membered ring
species that have been observed to date in the ISM. These also include
silicon dicarbide (c-SiC2),
the radical c-C3H, and
ethylene oxide (c-C2H4O).
Three-membered ring molecules are often not stable under terrestrial conditions.
Cyclopropenone is a second cousin of
formaldehyde, with its CH
bonds replaced with bonds spanning across the carbon atoms in the C2H2
part of the molecule.