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Astrochemistry: January 2019


An organic molecule detected in the material from which a star forms could shed light on how life emerged on Earth, according to new research led by Queen Mary University of London.

The cometary materials are thought to be the reservoir of primitive materials in the solar system. The recent detection of glycine and CH3NH2 by the ROSINA mass spectrometer in the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko suggests that amino acids and their precursors have been formed in such an early evolutionary phase of the Solar System.

The C2H4O2 isomers have been previously investigated primarily via disparate sets of observations involving single dish and array measurements.

Complex organics are now commonly found in meteorites, comets, asteroids, planetary satellites, and interplanetary dust particles. The chemical composition and possible origin of these organics are presented.

Theories of a pre-RNA world suggest that glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) is a key species in the process of ribonucleotide assembly, which is considered as a molecular precursor of nucleic acids.

Rocky planets orbiting red dwarf stars may be bone dry and lifeless, according to a new study using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Water and organic compounds, essential for life as we know it, may get blown away before they can reach the surface of young planets.