Astrochemistry: August 2014

We address disequilibrum abundances of some simple molecules in the atmospheres of solar composition brown dwarfs and self-luminous extrasolar giant planets using a kinetics-based 1D atmospheric chemistry model.

Observations were made for a number of carbon-rich circumstellar envelopes using the Phoenix spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope to determine the abundance of small carbon chain molecules.

Interstellar molecules with a peptide link -NH-C(=O)-, like formamide (NH2 CHO), acetamide (NH2 COCH3) and isocyanic acid (HNCO) are particularly interesting for their potential role in pre-biotic chemistry.

We present a deep near-infrared image of the newly discovered brown dwarf WISE J085510.83-071442.5 (W0855) using the FourStar imager at Las Campanas Observatory.

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined.

A team of astronomers from Leiden University, The Netherlands, measured the chemical fingerprint of the smallest aromatic molecule.

Water vapor has been detected in protoplanetary disks. In this work we model the distribution of water vapor in protoplanetary disks with a thermo-chemical code.

A NASA-led team of scientists has created detailed 3-D maps of the atmospheres surrounding comets, identifying several gases and mapping their spread at the highest resolution ever achieved.