NASA Telescope Finds Elusive Buckyballs in Space
PASADENA, Calif. -- Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered carbon molecules, known as "buckyballs," in space for the first time. Buckyballs are soccer-ball-shaped molecules that were first observed in a laboratory 25 years ago.
The Nobel in 1996 was awarded to Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley for the 1985 work discovering serendipitously carbon balls fullerenes. They were originally found by Kroto in Red Giant stars.
They named the new Carbon structure C60, buckminsterfullerene after the architect R. Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic architectural structure for buildings at the Montreal 1967 world exhibition.
But..., since that's a mouthful and not "cool" (and cool, like street creds is important to scientists), the term "buckyballs" entered the lexicon.