December 2009

Ethyl Formate

On average, about half a dozen new species are detected in interstellar sources each year. One of the new detections reported in 2009 was ethyl formate (C2H5OCHO). Belloche et al. observed this organic molecule toward the hot core region Sgr B2(N) with the IRAM 30 m telescope in Pico Veleta, Spain.

Ethyl formate is a very close cousin of methyl formate.

In contrast to last month's featured astromolecule (hydrogen sulfide), ethyl formate is a pleasant smelling ester that is present in rum and raspberries.

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