December 2007


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), cyclopropenylidene (c-C3H2), 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.

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