Astrochemistry: February 2015

A research team led by Shuro Takano at NAOJ and Taku Nakajima at Nagoya University observed the spiral galaxy M77 with ALMA and discovered that organic molecules are concentrated in a region surrounding a supermassive black hole at its center.

The high abundances of Complex Organic Molecules (COMs) with respect to methanol, the most abundant COM, detected towards low-mass protostars, tend to be underpredicted by astrochemical models.

We studied the relation between the chemical composition and the type of dust present in a group of 20 Galactic planetary nebulae (PNe) that have high quality optical and infrared spectra.

Formamide (NH2CHO) has been proposed as a pre-biotic precursor with a key role in the emergence of life on Earth. While this molecule has been observed in space, most of its detections correspond to high-mass star-forming regions.

Understanding the collisional properties of ice is important for understanding both the early stages of planet formation and the evolution of planetary ring systems.

Atmospheres with a high C/O ratio are expected to contain an important quantity of hydrocarbons, including heavy molecules (with more than 2 carbon atoms).

Comparison of their chemical compositions shows, to first order, a good agreement between the cometary and interstellar abundances.

Ideas about directing evolution of life forms on Earth and finding life on other planets are rapidly morphing from science-fiction fantasy into mainstream science, says David Lynn, a chemist at Emory University.

It is generally agreed that hydrogenation reactions dominate chemistry on grain surfaces in cold, dense molecular cores, saturating the molecules present in ice mantles.

We present new kinetics data on the radiolytic destruction of amino acids measured in situ with infrared spectroscopy.

We report new laboratory studies of the radiation-induced destruction of glycine-containing ices for a range of temperatures and compositions that allow extrapolation to Martian conditions.

The insoluble organic matter (IOM) of an unequilibrated enstatite chondrite Sahara (SAH) 97096 has been investigated using a battery of analytical techniques.