A color composite image of the galactic center and Sagittarius B2 in the ATLASGAL survey. Sagittarius B2 - bright orange-red area
With the help of the TMRT radio telescope, Chinese scientists were able to detect the presence of glycol aldehyde and ethylene glycol around the large-scale Sagittarius B2 molecular cloud.
Sagittarius B2 is a huge molecular gas and dust cloud with a mass that exceeds solar by 3 times. Distant 390 light-years from the galactic center and 25,000 light-years from our planet.
On its territory there are various types of complex molecules, including alcohols, such as ethanol and methanol. Early analyzes showed a small concentration of emissions of glycol aldehyde (CH2OHCHO) and ethylene glycol (HOCH2CH2OH). But the exact amount remained unclear. As a result, a team from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory conducted new research. The cloud was monitored in March and November 2016 using the DIBAS telescope. It turned out that these elements are widely distributed in this area. Glycolic aldehyde is associated with sugar, capable of contacting with propenal and forming ribose - the central component of RNA. Ethylene glycol - an alcohol that is chemically bound to ethanol. It turns out that these elements extend for 117 light years. Surprisingly, this expansion is 700 times larger than in the usual clouds of the spiral arms of the Milky Way.
The analysis also showed that the number of molecules decreases from the cold outer edge to the central, where active star formation occurs. This hints that most of the radiation has no connection with the process of the birth of stars, and specific molecules appear at a low temperature index.