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Astrochemistry: August 2017


To first order, the Earth as well as other rocky planets in the Solar System and rocky exoplanets orbiting other stars, are refractory pieces of the stellar nebula out of which they formed.

Up to now, mostly relatively simple molecules have been detected in interstellar diffuse molecular clouds in our galaxy, but more complex species have been reported in the diffuse/translucent medium of a z = 0.89 spiral galaxy.

It has been a long-standing problem to detect interstellar glycine (NH2CH2COOH), the simplest amino acid, in studying a possible relation between the Universe and origin of life.

The simplest cyanobenzene, benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN) have been possibly detected toward the cyanopolyyne peak in TMC-1.

On the surface of icy dust grains in the dense regions of the interstellar medium a rich chemistry can take place.

A high fraction of carbon bound in solid carbonaceous material is observed to exist in bodies formed in the cold outskirts of the solar nebula, while bodies in the terrestrial planets region contain nearly none.

Context: Modern versions of the Miller-Urey experiment claim that formamide (NH2CHO) could be the starting point for the formation of metabolic and genetic macromolecules.

Advanced telescopes, such as ALMA and JWST, are likely to show that the chemical universe may be even more complex than currently observed, requiring astrochemical modelers to improve their models to account for the impact of new data.

Astronomers like to say we are the byproducts of stars, stellar furnaces that long ago fused hydrogen and helium into the elements needed for life through the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. As the late Carl Sagan once put it: "The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff."

We report the detection of linear and cyclic isomers of C3H and C3H2 towards various starless cores and review the corresponding chemical pathways involving neutral (C3Hx with x=1,2) and ionic (C3Hx+ with x = 1,2,3) isomers.

A specific 4641Da amino acid polymer entity is present in two CV3 meteorites Acfer 086 and Allende, together with its breakdown polymer fragments of mass < 2000Da.