Scientists have discovered a vast, previously unknown reservoir of new aromatic material in a cold, dark molecular cloud by detecting individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules in the interstellar medium for the first time, and in doing so are beginning to answer a three-decades-old scientific mystery: how and where are these molecules formed in space? The more than a dozen PAHs may hold clues as to the formation of comets, asteroids, stars, and even planets.

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