Organic molecules in space and the Pluto fly-by

Scientists finally get to the bottom of an interstellar mystery this week: strange bands seen in the spectra of light from distant stars turn out to match perfectly with ‘buckyball’ ions made of carbon1. The test confirms a suspicion that scientists have had for decades. But what these space-travelling buckyballs are doing there is still up for debate. Also on the show, the schoolchildren who think like scientists, dreaming up experiments to test their theories; treating traumatic brain injury2; and reporter Alexandra Witze describes the atmosphere at New Horizons mission control as the spacecraft completed its Pluto fly-by (more coverage here).

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