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The 3.4-µm interstellar absorption feature


Estimation of the organic component of interstellar grains has provoked considerable interest1,2. Recently Duley and Williams2 concluded from an absence of the 3.4-µm CH absorption band in obscured IR sources that organic compounds in grains account for 10% of carbon in the interstellar medium. We report here the detection of a 3.4-µm absorption feature in three IR sources and hence argue that an appreciable mass fraction of interstellar grains are predominantly organic in character.

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Wickramasinghe, D., Allen, D. The 3.4-µm interstellar absorption feature. Nature 287, 518–519 (1980).

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