Recently in the Astrochemistry Category

Life on Earth relies on chiral molecules, that is, species not superimposable on their mirror images. This manifests itself in the selection of a single molecular handedness, or homochirality, across the biosphere.

The organic molecule methyl alcohol (methanol) has been found by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the TW Hydrae protoplanetary disc.

Chiral molecules -- compounds that come in otherwise identical mirror image variations, like a pair of human hands -- are crucial to life as we know it.

Ingredients regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth have been discovered at the comet that ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has been probing for almost two years.

Carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (CNO) are key elements in stellar formation and evolution, and their abundances should also have a significant impact on planetary formation and evolution. We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 74 solar-type stars, 42 of which are known to harbour planets.

Formamide (NH2CHO) has previously been detected in several star-forming regions and is thought to be a precursor for different prebiotic molecules. Its formation mechanism is still debated, however.

We conducted survey observations of a glycine precursor, methanimine or methylenimine (CH2NH), with the NRO 45 m telescope and the SMT telescope towards 12 high-mass and two low-mass star-forming regions in order to increase number of CH2NH sources and to better understand the characteristics of CH2NH sources.

The young star beta Pictoris is well known for its dusty debris disk, produced through the grinding down by collisions of planetesimals, kilometre-sized bodies in orbit around the star.

In order to identify inhabited worlds beyond the Solar System, scientists are exploring the possibility of detecting gases that could serve as biosignatures in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets.

Complex Organic Molecules (COMs) have been detected in the interstellar medium (ISM). However, it is not clear whether their synthesis occurs on the icy surfaces of interstellar grains or via a series of gas-phase reactions.