Astrochemistry: February 2020

This paper characterizes the first protein to be discovered in a meteorite. Amino acid polymers previously observed in Acfer 086 and Allende meteorites [1,2] have been further characterized in Acfer 086 via high precision MALDI mass spectrometry to reveal a principal unified structure of molecular weight 2320 Daltons that involves chains of glycine and hydroxy-glycine residues terminated by iron atoms, with additional oxygen and lithium atoms.

The formation and growth of refractory matter on pre-existing interstellar dust grain surfaces was studied experimentally by annealing neon-ice matrices in which potential precursors of silicate grains (Mg and Fe atoms, SiO and SiO2 molecules) and of solid carbon (Cn molecules, n = 2-10) were initially isolated.

Astronomical infrared spectral features at ~6.6, 9.8 and 20 micronm have recently been suggested as being due to the planar graphene form of C24 carbon cluster.

In the interstellar medium, the cosmic elemental carbon abundance includes the total carbon in both gas and solid phases.

The ExoMol database aims to provide comprehensive molecular line lists for exoplanetary and other hot atmospheres.

Formation of interstellar complex organic molecules is currently thought to be dominated by the barrierless coupling between radicals on the interstellar icy grain surfaces.

Since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) -- a novel one-dimensional carbon allotrope -- have attracted considerable interest worldwide because of their potential technological applications such as electric and optical devices.

In the interstellar medium, carbon is distributed between the gas and solid phases. However, while about half of the expected carbon abundance can be accounted for in the gas phase, there is considerable uncertainty as to the amount incorporated in interstellar dust.

Understanding the Earth's carbon cycle has important implications for understanding climate change and the health of biospheres.

Researchers supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program have shown that carbon on Earth could be as much as seven billion years old.

Final water inventories of newly formed terrestrial planets are shaped by their collision history. A setting where volatiles are transported from beyond the snowline to habitable-zone planets suggests collisions of very dry with water-rich bodies.