Astrochemistry: November 2020

Quantum chemical cluster calculations show that reactions of C+ with HCN or HNC embedded in the surface of an icy grain mantle can account for the formation of a recently detected molecule, glycolonitrile, which is considered to be an important precursor to ribonucleic compounds.

Laboratory astrochemistry aims at simulating in the laboratory some of the chemical and physical processes that operate in different regions of the Universe.

Discovering too much money in your bank account may not be what you would call a "crisis," but it would still be unexpected and you should figure out how it got there. Astronomers find themselves in a similar position when calculating the amount of dust galaxies should have; there is more dust than expected, and they don't know where it's coming from.

Context. Near- and mid-infrared observations have revealed the presence of organic refractory materials in the solar system, in cometary nuclei and on the surface of centaurs, Kuiper-belt and trans-neptunian objects.

An international team of scientists have shown that glycine, the simplest amino acid and an important building block of life, can form under the harsh conditions that govern chemistry in space.

Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) was an dynamically new Oort cloud comet whose apparition presented a favorable geometry for observations near close Earth approach (~0.93au) at heliocentric distances ~2au when insolation and sublimation of volatiles drive maximum activity.

The detection of the amino acid glycine and its amine precursor methylamine on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta mission provides strong evidence for a cosmic origin of prebiotics on Earth.

Massive explosions of energy happening thousands of light-years from Earth may have left traces in our planet's biology and geology, according to new research by University of Colorado Boulder geoscientist Robert Brakenridge.

Complex organic molecules (COMs) have been detected in a variety of interstellar sources.

A central need in the field of astrobiology is generalized perspectives on life that make it possible to differentiate abiotic and biotic chemical systems. A key component of many past and future astrobiological measurements is the elemental ratio of various samples.

We have identified methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO), a precursor of prebiotic molecules, towards the source. G31.41+0.31 is a well known chemically rich hot molecular core (HMC). Using Band 3 observations of Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), we have analyzed the chemical and physical properties of the source.

Recently published space-based observations of main-belt asteroids with the AKARI telescope provide a full description of the 3 um band, related to the presence of OH bearing minerals.