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Astrochemistry: March 2021


We present one of the first Shanghai Tian Ma Radio Telescope (TMRT) K Band observations towards a sample of 26 infrared dark clouds (IRDCs).

Much of the carbon in space is believed to exist in the form of large molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Since the 1980s, circumstantial evidence has indicated that these molecules are abundant in space, but they have not been directly observed.

Scientists have discovered a vast, previously unknown reservoir of new aromatic material in a cold, dark molecular cloud by detecting individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules in the interstellar medium for the first time, and in doing so are beginning to answer a three-decades-old scientific mystery: how and where are these molecules formed in space?

Astrochemistry lies at the nexus of astronomy, chemistry, and molecular physics. On the basis of precise laboratory data, a rich collection of more than 200 familiar and exotic molecules have been identified in the interstellar medium, the vast majority by their unique rotational fingerprint.

Hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane are present in many solar system objects, including comets, moons and planets.

Measurements of visible and near-infrared reflection (0.38-5 um) and mid to far infrared emission (5-200 um) from telescope and satellite remote sensing instruments make it possible to investigate the composition of planetary surfaces via electronic transitions and vibrational modes of chemical bonds.

In early 2016, an icy visitor from the edge of our solar system hurtled past Earth. It briefly became visible to stargazers as Comet Catalina before it slingshot past the Sun to disappear forevermore out of the solar system.

We report the first detection of a hydroxyl radical (OH) emission signature in the planetary atmosphere outside the solar system, in this case, in the day-side of WASP-33b.

We present the discovery in TMC-1 of allenyl acetylene, H2CCCHCCH, through the observation of nineteen lines with a signal-to-noise ratio ~4-15. For this species, we derived a rotational temperature of 7 +/- 1 K and a column density of (1.2 +/- 0.2)e13 cm-2.