Results tagged “Astrochemistry”

Volatiles in Protoplanetary Disks

Volatiles are compounds with low sublimation temperatures, and they make up most of the condensible mass in typical planet-forming environments.

Spitzer Probes Weather on Brown Dwarfs

Swirling, stormy clouds may be ever-present on cool celestial orbs called brown dwarfs. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that most brown dwarfs are roiling with one or more planet-size storms akin to Jupiter's "Great Red Spot."

Astrochemistry is a discipline that studies physico-chemical processes in astrophysical environments.

We present a new method to probe atmospheric pressure on Earthlike planets using (O2-O2) dimers in the near-infrared.

Cosmic rays may be linked to the formation of volatiles necessary for prebiotic chemistry.

Context: The dusty debris disk around the ~20 Myr old main-sequence A-star beta Pic is known to contain gas.

The Voyager 1 flyby of Titan in 1980 gave a first glimpse of the chemical complexity of Titan's atmosphere, detecting many new molecules with the infrared spectrometer (IRIS). These included propane (C3H8) and propyne (CH3C2H), while the intermediate-sized C3Hx hydrocarbon (C3H6) was curiously absent. Using spectra from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) on Cassini, we show the first positive detection of propene (C3H6) in Titan's stratosphere (5-sigma significance), finally filling the three-decade gap in the chemical sequence.

Scientists have discovered a 'cosmic factory' for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, according to research.

New research has revealed that chemical reactions previously thought to be 'impossible' in space actually occur 'with vigour,' a discovery that could ultimately change our understanding of how alcohols are formed and destroyed in space - and which could also mean that places like Saturn's moon Titan, once considered too cold for life to form, may have a shortcut for biochemical reactions.

How many different molecules can be created when you release one of the universe's most reactive substances, hydrogen cyanide, in the lab? And will the process create some particularly interesting molecules?

Interstellar ices are layers of molecules deposited on fine dust grains in dark and dense molecular cloud cores. Subsurface ice has been considered in a few astrochemical models, which have shown that it can be of great importance.

The discovery of amino acids in meteorites and the detection of glycine in samples returned from a comet to Earth suggest that the interstellar chemistry is capable of producing such complex organic molecules.

Water is an important reservoir species for oxygen in interstellar space and plays a key role in the physics of star formation through cooling by far-infrared emission.

The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways, according to new research led by University of Washington scientists.

Astrochemistry aims at studying chemical processes in astronomical environments. This discipline -- located at the crossroad between astrophysics and chemistry -- is rapidly evolving and explores the issue of the formation of molecules of increasing complexity in particular physical conditions that deviate significantly from those frequently encountered in chemistry laboratories. The main goal of this paper is to provide an overview of this discipline.

Scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center now have the capability to systematically investigate the molecular evolution of cosmic carbon. For the first time, these scientists are able to automatically interpret previously unknown infrared emissions from space that come from surprisingly complex organic molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are abundant and important across the universe.

A research team with Jungmi Kwon (GUAS/NAOJ) has performed deep imaging linear and circular polarimetry (Note 1) of the 'Cat's Paw Nebula' (NGC 6334) (Note 2) located in the constellation Scorpius, successfully detecting high degrees of circular polarization (CP) of as much as 22% in NGC 6334. The detected CP degree is the highest ever observed.

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