Astrochemistry: May 2015

The gas mass of protoplanetary disks, and the gas-to-dust ratio, are two key elements driving the evolution of these disks and the formation of planetary system.

Carbonaceous chondrites are a class of meteorite known for having a high content of water and organics.

Our solar system, and other planetary systems, started as a disk of microscopic dust, gas, and ice around the young Sun. The amazing diversity of objects in the solar system today - the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets - was made from this primitive dust.

Astronomers have long held that water -- two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom -- was a relative latecomer to the universe. They believed that any element heavier than helium had to have been formed in the cores of stars and not by the Big Bang itself.

DNA is synonymous with life, but where did it originate? One way to answer this question is to try to recreate the conditions that formed DNA's molecular precursors.