Astrochemistry: January 2020

Observations from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft are shedding light on the mysterious make-up of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, revealing a mix of compounds thought to be essential precursors to life - including salts of ammonium and a particular type of hydrocarbons.

Methanol ice is embedded in interstellar ice mantles present in dense molecular clouds. We aim to measure the sputtering efficiencies starting from different ice mantles of varying compositions experimentally, in order to evaluate their potential impact on astrochemical models.

Glycoaldehyde, ethylene glycol, and methyl formate are complex organic molecules that have been observed in dark molecular clouds.

A team of astronomers of Leiden University (the Netherlands) and the University of Texas (Austin, United States) has discovered a new way to map distant galaxies.

Phosphorus, present in our DNA and cell membranes, is an essential element for life as we know it. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery.

A new ro-vibrational line list for the ground electronic state of the main isotopologue of acetylene, 12C2H2, is computed as part of the ExoMol project.

Interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) were likely major sources of extraterrestrial organics to the early Earth. However, IDPs experience heating to > 500 °C for up to several seconds during atmospheric entry.

The N2 and CO-rich and water-depleted comet C/2016 R2 (Pan-STARRS) (hereafter `C/2016 R2') is a unique comet for detailed spectroscopic analysis.

Aim: In the past, observations of protostellar shocks have been able to set constraints on the formation route of formamide (NH2CHO), exploiting its observed spatial distribution and comparison with astrochemical model predictions.