Astrochemistry: September 2016

In an effort to further our interest in understanding basic chemistry of interstellar molecules, we carry out here an extensive investigation of the stabilities of interstellar carbon chains; Cn, H2Cn, HCnN and CnX (X=N, O, Si, S, H, P, H-, N-).

The interstellar medium is characterized by a rich and diverse chemistry. Many of its complex organic molecules are proposed to form through radical chemistry in icy grain mantles.

Since the orbital insertion of the Rosetta spacecraft, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) has been mapped by OSIRIS camera and VIRTIS spectro-imager, producing a huge quantity of images and spectra of the comet's nucleus.

Research by Rice University Earth scientists suggests that virtually all of Earth's life-giving carbon could have come from a collision about 4.4 billion years ago between Earth and an embryonic planet similar to Mercury.