Recently in the Astrochemistry Category


The core accretion theory for giant planet formation predicts enrichment of elemental abundances in planetary envelopes caused by runaway accretion of planetesimals, which is consistent with measured super-solar abundances of C, N, P, S, Xe, and Ar in Jupiter's atmosphere.

We report near-infrared spectroscopy of the gas giant planet HD 189733b in transit. We used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST WFC3) with its G141 grism covering 1.1 um to 1.7 um and spatially scanned the image across the detector at 2\arcsecsāˆ’1.

Fullerenes are a particularly stable class of carbon molecules in the shape of a hollow sphere or ellipsoid that might be formed in the outflows of carbon stars. Once injected into the interstellar medium (ISM), these stable species survive and are thus likely to be widespread in the Galaxy where they contribute to interstellar extinction, heating processes, and complex chemical reactions.

Current gas phase models do not account for the abundances of HNCO isomers detected in various environments, suggesting a formation in icy grain mantles.

In 2011, hydrogen peroxide (HOOH) was observed for the first time outside the solar system (Bergman et al., A&A, 2011, 531, L8).

Infrared spectra of carbon-rich objects which have evolved off the asymptotic giant branch reveal a range of dust properties, including fullerenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), aliphatic hydrocarbons, and several unidentified features, including the 21 um emission feature.

Complex Organic Molecules (COMs) are considered crucial molecules, since they are connected with organic chemistry, at the basis of the terrestrial life.

Stanley Miller, the chemist whose landmark experiment published in 1953 showed how some of the molecules of life could have formed on a young Earth, left behind boxes of experimental samples that he never analyzed. The first-ever analysis of some of Miller's old samples has revealed another way that important molecules could have formed on early Earth.

The past twenty years have revealed the diversity of planets that exist in the Universe. It turned out that most of exoplanets are different from the planets of our Solar System and thus, everything about them needs to be explored.

Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.