March 2009

Ethanol


The trans conformer of ethanol (CH3CH2OH) was observed by Zuckerman et al. in SgrB2 in 1975 via three rotational transitions detected with the NRAO 36 foot telescope. The first confirmation of this dectection appeared in 1988, when ethanol was observed toward W51M by Millar et al.. Among other observations and surveys, "hot" (125 K!) ethanol was observed in the hot molecular core G34.3+0.15. The gauche conformer was detected by Pearson et al. in 1997.

Ethanol is one of the astromolecules that is most familiar to Earth inhabitants, perhaps because of its present in certain beverages and its pychoactive interaction with brain chemistry.


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