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Astrochemistry: July 2016


Phosphorus is a crucial element in biochemistry, especially the P-O bond, which is key for the formation of the backbone of the deoxyribonucleic acid.

The presence of short-lived radioisotopes (SLRs) in solar system meteorites has been interpreted as evidence that the solar system was exposed to a supernova shortly before or during its formation.

Normally computers speed up calculations. But with his new pen-and-paper formula Kevin Heng of the University of Bern gets his results thousands of times faster than using conventional computer codes.

We present a model of early planetary atmospheres which represents the cumulative gaseous chemical species that are accreted onto planets forming by core accretion from an evolving protoplanetary disk.

Young stars are often surrounded by dense, rotating discs of gas and dust, known as protoplanetary discs, from which planets are born.

Since its detection in 2014, the brown dwarf known as WISE 0855 has fascinated astronomers. Only 7.2 light-years from Earth, it is the coldest known object outside of our solar system and is just barely visible at infrared wavelengths with the largest ground-based telescopes.

NASA's Cassini and Huygen's missions have provided a wealth of data about chemical elements found on Saturn's moon Titan, and Cornell scientists have uncovered a chemical trail that suggests prebiotic conditions may exist there.