Astrochemistry: July 2020

We advocate for the realization of volatile sample return from various destinations including: small bodies, the Moon, Mars, ocean worlds/satellites, and plumes. As part of recent mission studies (e.g., Comet Astrobiology Exploration SAmple Return (CAESAR) and Mars Sample Return), new concepts, technologies, and protocols have been considered for specific environments and cost.

Astrochemical modeling is needed for understanding the formation and evolution of interstellar molecules, and for extracting physical information from spectroscopic observation of molecular lines.

Scientists have found the interstellar organic matter could produce an abundant supply of water by heating, suggesting that organic matter could be the source of terrestrial water.

Despite the fact that the majority of current models assume that interstellar complex organic molecules (iCOMs) are formed on dust-grain surfaces, there is some evidence that neutral gas-phase reactions play an important role.

We study whether polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be a weighty source of small hydrocarbons in photo-dissociation regions (PDRs).

It is well known since 2010 that fullerene C60 is widespread through the interstellar space. Also, it is well known that graphene is a source material for synthesizing fullerene. Here, we simply assume the occurrence of graphene in space.

Over 200 molecules have been detected in multiple extraterrestrial environments, including glycolaldehyde (C2(H2O)2, GLA), a two-carbon sugar precursor that has been detected in regions of the interstellar medium.

As dying stars take their final few breaths of life, they gently sprinkle their ashes into the cosmos through the magnificent planetary nebulae. These ashes, spread via stellar winds, are enriched with many different chemical elements, including carbon.

In recent years, a plethora of high spectral resolution observations of sub-mm and FIR transitions of methylidene (CH), have demonstrated this radical to be a valuable proxy for H2, that can be used for characterising molecular gas within the interstellar medium (ISM) on a Galactic scale, including the CO-dark component.