Results tagged “astrochemistry”

Nereid, Neptune's third largest satellite, lies in an irregular orbit and is the only outer satellite in the system (apart from Triton) that can be spectroscopically characterized with the current generation of Earth-based telescopes.

Amino acids are the essential keys in chemistry that contribute to the study of the formation of life. The complex organic molecule glycine (NH2CH2COOH) is the simplest amino acid that has been investigated in the interstellar medium for a long period to search for a potential connection between the Universe and the origin of life.

Globally, the Earth system has thousands of terragrams (Tg) (1 Tg = 10 12 g) of mineral nanoparticles moving around the planet each year. These mineral nanoparticles are ubiquitously distributed throughout the atmosphere, oceans, waters, soils, in and/or on most living organisms, and even within proteins such as ferritin.

Phosphorus is an essential element for life, and the phosphorous cycle is widely believed to be a key factor limiting the extent of Earth's biosphere and its impact on remotely detectable features of Earth's atmospheric chemistry.

A research group from Kobe University has demonstrated that the heat generated by the impact of a small astronomical body could enable aqueous alteration (*1) and organic solid formation to occur on the surface of an asteroid.

The discovery of amino acids in meteorites has presented two clues to the origin of their processing subsequent to their formation: a slight preference for left-handedness in some of them, and isotopic anomalies in some of their constituent atoms.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers involving astrophysicists, astrochemists and biochemists, has reported the detection of the prebiotic molecule ethanolamine in space, which could have been incorporated into the early Earth. This species forms the simplest head of phospholipids that make up the membranes of all present-day cells.

Phosphorus related species are not known to be as omnipresent in space as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur-bearing species. Astronomers spotted very few P-bearing molecules in the interstellar medium and circumstellar envelopes.

Chondrites are rocky fragments of asteroids that formed at different times and heliocentric distances in the early solar system. Most chondrite groups contain water-bearing minerals, attesting that both water-ice and dust were accreted on their parent asteroids.

Cell membranes are a key element of life because they keep the genetic material and metabolic machinery together. All present cell membranes are made of phospholipids, yet the nature of the first membranes and the origin of phospholipids are still under debate.

The tracking of symmetry-breaking events in space is a longlasting goal of astrochemists, aiming at an understanding of homochiral Earth chemistry. One current effort at this frontier aims at the detection of small chiral molecules in the interstellar medium.

An international team of researchers led by Alice Booth (Leiden University, the Netherlands) have discovered methanol in the warm part of a planet-forming disk.

Detection of Interstellar H2CCCHC3N

The chemical pathways linking the small organic molecules commonly observed in molecular clouds to the large, complex, polycyclic species long-suspected to be carriers of the ubiquitous unidentified infrared emission bands remain unclear.

Lightning bolts break apart nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere and create reactive chemicals that affect greenhouse gases.

The provenance of oxygen on Earth and other solar planetary bodies is a fundamental issue. It is widely accepted that the prebiotic pathway of oxygen production in the Earth primitive atmosphere was via vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photodissociation of CO2 and subsequent recombination of two O atoms.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) have long been invoked in the study of interstellar and protostellar sources, but the unambiguous identification of any individual PAH has proven elusive until very recently.

Scientists have recreated the reaction by which carbon isotopes made their way into different organic compounds, challenging the notion that organic compounds, such as amino acids, were formed by isotopically enriched substrates.

Establishing the origin of the water D/H ratio in the Solar System is central to our understanding of the chemical trail of water during the star and planet formation process.

An international collaboration of astronomers led by a researcher from the Astrobiology Center and Queen's University Belfast, and including researchers from Trinity College Dublin, has detected a new chemical signature in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet (a planet that orbits a star other than our Sun).

We report the detection of the oxygen-bearing complex organic molecules propenal (C2H3CHO), vinyl alcohol (C2H3OH), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), and dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3) toward the cyanopolyyne peak of the starless core TMC-1.

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