Astrochemistry: March 2014

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.

Recent results from the Kepler mission indicate that super-Earths (planets with masses between 1-10 times that of the Earth) are the most common kind of planet around nearby Sun-like stars.

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).

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are part of a research team that has detected water vapor in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.

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.

Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere.

Astronomers at the University of Washington have developed a new method of gauging the atmospheric pressure of exoplanets, or worlds beyond the solar system, by looking for a certain type of molecule.