Matching the "Fingerprints"
Plot of radio emission at numerous frequencies from the molecule ethyl cyanide (CH3CH2CN). Blue is the plot from terrestrial laboratory measurement; red is the plot from ALMA observation of a star-forming region in the constellation Orion. The ability to do this type of matching represents a major breakthrough for studying the chemistry of the Universe. Plots are superimposed on Hubble Space Telescope image of the Orion Nebula; small box indicates location of area observed with ALMA.
Credit: Fortman, et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA