The first "fullerene" in the 1970s. found Harry Kroto, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Recently, this compound was noticed in the stellar winds of red giants in the interstellar medium.
Fullerenes are powerful antioxidants used in antiviral preparations. In particular, compounds with anti-HIV properties were found. They are also used as semiconductors for high-temperature superconductors. Now they are synthesized in quantities close to grams.
One of the most common production methods is a graphite electrode. Scientists believe that in conditions of low vacuum with low density, fullerenes are formed by other, so far unknown methods. A group of astronomers is studying fullerenes in the interstellar medium. The nearest interstellar clouds with a confirmed connection are located 1000 light years from Earth. The electromagnetic spectra of 19 distant stars were monitored in the Very Large Telescope (Chile). Researchers have noticed fullerenes, which left clear absorption lines at specific frequencies.
The frequencies are known, but the difficulty lies in the process of separating the spectrum of the interstellar medium from the stellar spectrum. You can get lines of fullerenes, subtracting the stellar spectra from the existing one, but this is a complex process. It is necessary to compare clouds with fullerenes and without them, in order to reveal certain parameters contributing to the formation of such molecules.