Astrochemistry: November 2018

The bulk composition of the Earth is dramatically carbon poor compared to that of the interstellar medium, and this phenomenon extends to the asteroid belt.

A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has investigated the nature of a cosmic phenomenon that slows down star formation, which helps to ensure the universe is a place where life can emerge.

Aims. Based on measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft and high-resolution modelling of the motion of interstellar dust (ISD) through the heliosphere we predict the ISD flow in the inner planetary system and on to the Earth.

The formyl radical HCO has been proposed as the basic precursor of many complex organic molecules such as methanol (CH3OH) or glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO).