Star Sugars #poem #space #star #chemistry #poetry


Pillars of Creation, a famous stellar nursery

Via photosynthesis,
Plants store solar energy
In hydrated aldehydes,
Organics formed so cleverly.

Add nitrogen or phosphorus
For an acidic amide,
Defining protein molecules,
Solvents, enzymes, muscles, hide.

So why do interstellar clouds
Contain organic molecules,
Ubiquitous in dusty space
Where life can hardly be the rule?

There is compelling evidence,
Despite cold in extremity,
That cosmic rays are driving
An out-of-balance chemistry.

Unborn stars and planets,
Laced with heavy elements
Are interstellar nurseries
For compounds biorelevant.

By Kate Rauner

Thanks to and A study of interstellar aldehydes and enols as tracers of a cosmic ray-driven nonequilibrium synthesis of complex organic molecules