NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted the signature of flat carbon flakes, called graphene, in space if confirmed, this would be the first-ever cosmic detection of the material -- which is arranged like chicken wire in flat sheets that are one atom thick. Graphene was first synthesized in a lab in 2004, and subsequent research on its unique properties garnered the Nobel Prize in 2010, It's as strong as it is thin, and conducts electricity as well as copper, Some think it's the "material of the future," with applications in computers, screens on electrical devices, solar panels and more.
Graphene in space isn't going to result in any super-fast computers, but researchers are interested in learning more about how it is created. Understanding chemical reactions involving carbon in space may hold clues to how our own carbon-based selves and other life on Earth developed.
Spitzer identified signs of the graphene in two small galaxies outside of our own, called the Magellanic Clouds, specifically in the material shed by dying stars, called planetary nebulae, the infrared-sensing telescope also spotted a related molecule, called C70, in the same region – marking the first detection of this chemical outside our galaxy.