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Large aromatic molecules are ubiquitous in both circumstellar and interstellar environments. Detection of small aromatic molecules, such as benzene (C6H6) and benzyne (C6H4), are rare in astrophysical environments. Detection of such species will have major implications for our understanding of the astrochemistry involved in the formation of the molecules necessary for life, including modeling the chemical pathways to the formation of larger hydrocarbon molecules. We conducted a search for the infrared 18 μm spectral signature of benzyne in V4334 Sgr with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)/Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) finding no evidence for a feature at the sensitivity of our observations.

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Astronomical Journal