Results tagged “Astrochemistry”

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.

The chemical compounds carrying the thiol group (-SH) have been considered essential in recent prebiotic studies regarding the polymerization of amino acids.

Determining the level of chemical complexity within dense starless and gravitationally bound prestellar cores is crucial for constructing chemical models, which subsequently constrain the initial chemical conditions of star formation.

Quantifying the composition of the material in protoplanetary disks is paramount to determining the potential for exoplanetary systems to produce and support habitable environments.

The chemistry of planet-forming disks sets the exoplanet atmosphere composition and the prebiotic molecular content. Dust traps are of particular importance as pebble growth and transport are crucial for setting the chemistry where giant planets are forming.

The simultaneous detection of organic molecules of the form C2HnO, such as ketene (CH2CO), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), and ethanol (CH3CH2OH), toward early star-forming regions offers hints of shared chemical history.

Millimeter and centimeter observations are discovering an increasing number of interstellar complex organic molecules (iCOMs) in a large variety of star forming sites, from the earliest stages of star formation to protoplanetary disks and in comets.

Hydrocarbons are observed in the gas or solid phases of solar system objects, including comets, Trans-Neptunian Objects, planets and their moons. In the presence of water ice in these environments, hydrocarbons-bearing clathrate hydrates could form.

Remote and in-situ observations of cometary gases have revealed the presence of a wealth of complex organic molecules, including carbon chains, alcohols, imines and the amino acid glycine.

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