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It has recently been suggested that the diffuse interstellar bands may be formed by ionized polyhedral carbon molecules such as C60(+). While specific laboratory measurements of absorption bands of this molecular ion have not been made, a feature due to the neutral molecule C60 has been discovered at 3860A. Examination of spectra of several reddened stars, as well as one star known to have circumstellar carbonaceous dust, shows no sign of the feature, leading to upper limits of the order of 10 to the 14th/sq cm for the column density of C60. These limits are not yet sensitive enough to violate the expectations of crude predictions.

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Astronomy & Astrophysics


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