Astrochemistry: March 2015

Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations.

tau Ceti (HD10700), a G8 dwarf with solar mass of 0.78, is a close (3.65 pc) sun-like star where 5 possibly terrestrial planet candidates (minimum masses of 2, 3.1, 3.5, 4.3, and 6.7 Earth masses) have recently been discovered.

Fullerenes have been recently detected in various circumstellar and interstellar environments, raising the question of their formation pathway.

Absorption lines from water, methane and carbon monoxide are detected in the atmosphere of exoplanet HR8799b.

The detection of biologically important, organic molecules on Mars is an important goal that may soon be reached.

Most models of volatile delivery to accreting terrestrial planets assume that the carriers for water are similar in water content to the carbonaceous chondrites in our Solar System.

NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory.