Results tagged “Astrochemistry”

Any search for present or past life beyond Earth should consider the initial processes and related environmental controls that might have led to its start.

All the chemical elements in the universe, except for hydrogen and most of the helium, were produced inside stars. But among them there are a few (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur and phosphorus) which are particularly interesting because they are basic to life as we know it on Earth.

As Carl Sagan famously said, "We're made of star stuff" -- but how do stars distribute their essential "stuff" for life into space? NASA's telescope on an airplane, SOFIA, is finding some answers by watching pulsating stars as they expand and contract, almost like beating hearts.

We advocate for the realization of volatile sample return from various destinations including: small bodies, the Moon, Mars, ocean worlds/satellites, and plumes. As part of recent mission studies (e.g., Comet Astrobiology Exploration SAmple Return (CAESAR) and Mars Sample Return), new concepts, technologies, and protocols have been considered for specific environments and cost.

Astrochemical modeling is needed for understanding the formation and evolution of interstellar molecules, and for extracting physical information from spectroscopic observation of molecular lines.

Scientists have found the interstellar organic matter could produce an abundant supply of water by heating, suggesting that organic matter could be the source of terrestrial water.

Despite the fact that the majority of current models assume that interstellar complex organic molecules (iCOMs) are formed on dust-grain surfaces, there is some evidence that neutral gas-phase reactions play an important role.

We study whether polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be a weighty source of small hydrocarbons in photo-dissociation regions (PDRs).

It is well known since 2010 that fullerene C60 is widespread through the interstellar space. Also, it is well known that graphene is a source material for synthesizing fullerene. Here, we simply assume the occurrence of graphene in space.

Over 200 molecules have been detected in multiple extraterrestrial environments, including glycolaldehyde (C2(H2O)2, GLA), a two-carbon sugar precursor that has been detected in regions of the interstellar medium.

Dying Stars Breathe Life Into Earth

As dying stars take their final few breaths of life, they gently sprinkle their ashes into the cosmos through the magnificent planetary nebulae. These ashes, spread via stellar winds, are enriched with many different chemical elements, including carbon.

In recent years, a plethora of high spectral resolution observations of sub-mm and FIR transitions of methylidene (CH), have demonstrated this radical to be a valuable proxy for H2, that can be used for characterising molecular gas within the interstellar medium (ISM) on a Galactic scale, including the CO-dark component.

Methyl carbamate CH3OC(O)NH2 is an isomer of glycine. Quantum chemical analyses show that methyl carbamate is more stable isomer than glycine. Because of this, there could be a higher chance for methyl carbamte to exist in the interstellar medium as compared to glycine.

We report on one of the highest sensitivity surveys for molecular lines in the frequency range 6.0 to 7.4 GHz conducted to date. The observations were done with the 305m Arecibo Telescope toward a sample of twelve intermediate/high-mass star forming regions.

Earth's carbon deficit has been an outstanding problem in our understanding of the formation of our Solar System. A possible solution would be the sublimation of carbon grains at the so-called soot line (~300 K) early in the planet-formation process.

There is mounting evidence that the composition and structure of planetary systems are intimately linked to their birth environments. During the past decade, several spectral surveys probed the chemistry of the earliest stages of star formation and of late planet-forming disks.

A prevailing theory for the interstellar production of complex organic molecules (COMs) involves formation on warm dust-grain surfaces, via the diffusion and reaction of radicals produced through grain-surface photodissociation of stable molecules.

Complex organic molecules that could serve as building blocks for life are more ubiquitous than previously thought in cold clouds of gas and dust that give birth to stars and planets, according to astronomers at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory.

Recent detection of exoplanets with Earth-like insolation attracts growing interest in how common Earth-like aqua planets are beyond the solar system.

Observations of ammonia in interstellar environments have revealed high levels of deuteration, and all its D-containing variants, including ND3, have been detected in cold prestellar cores and around young protostars.

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