Results tagged “Astrochemistry”

Cyanide and carbon monoxide are both deadly poisons to humans, but compounds containing iron, cyanide, and carbon monoxide discovered in carbon-rich meteorites by a team of scientists at Boise State University and NASA may have helped power life on early Earth.

Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the interstellar medium (ISM) - the gas and dust that fills interstellar space.

Magnetochiral phenomena may be responsible for the selection of chiral states of biomolecules in meteoric environments.

Because of their importance in biological systems, in our understanding of the solar system and in other applications, seven heterocycles; furan, imidazole, pyridine, pyrimidine, pyrrole, quinoline and isoquinoline have been astronomically searched for in different molecular clouds.

The recent identification of the first complex chiral molecule, propylene oxide (PrO) in space opens up a new window to further study the origin of homochirality on the Earth.

The first minerals to form in the universe were nanocrystalline diamonds, which condensed from gases ejected when the first generation of stars exploded.

At the low temperatures (∼10 K) and high densities (∼100,000 H2 molecules per cc) of molecular cloud cores and protostellar envelopes, a large amount of molecular species (in particular those containing C and O) freeze-out onto dust grain surfaces.

We study the chemical evolution of H2O:CO:NH3 ice mixtures irradiated with soft X-rays, in the range 250-1250 eV. We identify many nitrogen-bearing molecules such as e.g., OCN-, NH4+ , HNCO, CH3CN, HCONH2, and NH2COCONH2.

Non-thermal desorption from icy grains containing H2CO has been invoked to explain the observed H2CO gas phase abundances in ProtoPlanetary Disks (PPDs) and Photon Dominated Regions (PDRs).

Formic acid (HCOOH) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are simple species that have been detected in the interstellar medium.

A number of recent experimental studies have shown that solid-state complex organic molecules (COMs) can form under conditions that are relevant to the CO freeze-out stage in dense clouds.

Since the Archean, N2 has been a major atmospheric constituent in Earth's atmosphere.

Iram 30-m Observations towards eight protostellar outflow sources were taken in the 96-176 GHz range. Transitions of CH3OH and CH3CHO were detected in seven of them.

Cyanogen (NCCN) is the simplest member of the dicyanopolyynes group, and has been proposed as a major source of the CN radical observed in cometary atmospheres. Although not detected through its rotational spectrum in the cold interstellar medium, this very stable species is supposed to be very abundant.

Gas hydrates formed in oceans and permafrost occur in vast quantities on Earth representing both a massive potential fuel source and a large threat in climate forecasts. They have been predicted to be important on other bodies in our solar systems such as Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

The identification of the carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) remains to be established, with the exception of five bands attributed to C60+, although it is generally agreed that DIB carriers should be large carbon-based molecules (with ~10-100 atoms) in the gas phase, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), long carbon chains or fullerenes.

We present results from one-dimensional atmospheric simulations investigating the effect of varying the carbon-to-oxygen (C/O) ratio on the thermal structure, chemical composition and transmission and emission spectra, for irradiated hydrogen-dominated atmospheres.

Small hydrocarbons are an important organic reservoir in protostellar and protoplanetary environments. Constraints on desorption temperatures and binding energies of such hydrocarbons are needed for accurate predictions of where these molecules exist in the ice vs. gas-phase during the different stages of star and planet formation.

Typically, H3+ is formed by collisions involving hydrogen gas, but its chemistry at the molecular level is relatively unknown. When organic molecules are hit by a laser pulse, they are ionized and the reaction begins.

Some of the exoplanets so far observed show featureless or flat transmission spectra, possibly indicating the existence of clouds and/or haze in their atmospheres.

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