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Astrochemistry: January 2021


Studying the creation and evolution of sulfur-containing compounds in outer space is essential for understanding interstellar chemistry. CS2 is believed to be the most important molecule in comet nuclei, interstellar dust, or ice cores. CS and S2 are the photodissociation fragments of CS2.

To date, about two dozen low-mass embedded protostars exhibit rich spectra with complex organic molecule (COM) lines. These protostars seem to possess different enrichment in COMs. However, the statistics of COM abundance in low-mass protostars are limited by the scarcity of observations.

We present Yebes 40m telescope observations of the three most stable C4H3N isomers towards the cyanopolyyne peak of TMC-1. We have detected 13 transitions from CH3C3N (A and E species), 16 lines from CH2CCHCN, and 27 lines (a-type and b-type) from HCCCH2CN.

Where did Earth's nitrogen come from? Rice University scientists show one primordial source of the indispensable building block for life was close to home.

2-aminooxazole (2AO), a N-heterocyclic molecule, has been proposed as an intermediate in prebiotic syntheses. It has been demonstrated that it can be synthesized from small molecules such as cyanamide and glycoaldehyde, which are present in interstellar space.

We report the discovery of two unsaturated organic species, trans-(E)-cyanovinylacetylene and vinylcyanoacetylene, using the second data release of the GOTHAM deep survey towards TMC-1 with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope.

Sulfur is the tenth most abundant element in the universe and is known to play a significant role in biological systems. Accordingly, in recent years there has been increased interest in the role of sulfur in astrochemical reactions and planetary geology and geochemistry.

Databases of gas and surface chemical reactions are a key tool for scientists working in a wide range of physical sciences. In Astrochemistry, databases of chemical reactions are used as inputs to chemical models to determine the abundances of the interstellar medium.

Using the Yebes 40m and IRAM 30m radiotelescopes, we detected two series of harmonically related lines in space that can be fitted to a symmetric rotor. The lines have been seen towards the cold dense cores TMC-1, L483, L1527, and L1544.

We propose a new model for treating solid-phase photoprocesses in interstellar ice analogues. In this approach, photoionization and photoexcitation are included in more detail, and the production of electronically-excited (suprathermal) species is explicitly considered.

Hydride molecules lie at the base of interstellar chemistry, but the synthesis of sulfuretted hydrides is poorly understood. Motivated by new observations of the Orion Bar PDR - 1'' resolution ALMA images of SH+; IRAM 30m detections of H2S, H2S34, and H2S33; H3S+ (upper limits); and SOFIA observations of SH - we perform a systematic study of the chemistry of S-bearing hydrides.

Methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO) and glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) are isomers and prebiotic molecules that are involved in the formation of peptide structures and the nucleobase adenine, respectively. ALMA observations of the intermediate-mass Class 0 protostar Serpens SMM1-a and ALMA-PILS data of the low-mass Class 0 protostar IRAS~16293B are used.

Stars with masses between 1 and 8 solar masses (M⊙) lose large amounts of material in the form of gas and dust in the late stages of stellar evolution, during their Asymptotic Giant Branch phase. Such stars supply up to 35% of the dust in the interstellar medium and thus contribute to the material out of which our solar system formed.

Carbonic acid (H2CO3) is a weak acid relevant to astrobiology which, to date, remains undetected in space. Experimental work has shown that the beta-polymorph of H2CO3 forms under space relevant conditions through energetic (UV photon, electron, and cosmic ray) processing of CO2- and H2O-rich ices.