Results tagged “astrochemistry”

Biological molecules are characterized by an intrinsic asymmetry known as homochirality. The result is optical activity of biological materials and circular polarization in the light scattered by microorganisms, cells of living organisms, as well as molecules (e.g. amino acids) of biological origin.

Given the central role of carbon in the chemistry of life, it is a fundamental question as to how carbon is supplied to the Earth, in what form and when.

The birth environment of the Sun will have influenced the conditions in the pre-solar nebula, including the attainable chemical complexity, important for prebiotic chemistry.

A spectral survey in the 1 mm wavelength range was undertaken in the long-period comets C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the 30 m telescope of the Institut de radioastronomie millimetrique (IRAM) in April and November-December 2013.

A team of scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., has successfully reproduced, right here on Earth, the processes that occur in the atmosphere of a red giant star and lead to the formation of planet-forming interstellar dust.

Glycine (NH2CH2COOH) is the simplest amino acid relevant for life. Its detection in the interstellar medium is key to understand the formation mechanisms of pre-biotic molecules and their subsequent delivery onto planetary systems.

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

It is well-known that stars with giant planets are on average more metal-rich than stars without giant planets, whereas stars with detected low-mass planets do not need to be metal-rich.

The nitrogen to carbon (N/C) and nitrogen to oxygen (N/O) ratios are the most sensitive quantities to mixing in stellar interiors of intermediate and massive stars.

In this work, we studied the stability of the glycine molecule in the crystalline zwitterion form, known as {alpha}-glycine (+ NH3 CH2 COO− ) under action of heavy cosmic ray analogs.

By obtaining images and spectra at the same light echo position between 2011 and 2014, we follow the evolution of the Great Eruption on a three-year timescale.

While it is well recognized that interstellar grains are made of amorphous silicates and some form of carbonaceous materials, it remains debated regarding what exact chemical and physical form the carbonaceous component takes.

Emission from a class of benzene-based molecules known as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) dominates the infrared spectrum of star-forming regions.

Broad infrared emission features (e.g., at 3.3, 6.2, 7.7, 8.6, and 11.3 microns) from the gas phase interstellar medium have long been attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been observed in O-rich planetary nebulae towards the Galactic Bulge.

Protoplanetary disks are vital objects in star and planet formation, possessing all the material which may form a planetary system orbiting the new star.

While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are some of the major dust components in the interstellar medium (ISM).

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."

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