Astrochemistry: July 2021

We predict that cyanoacetylene (HC3N) is produced photochemically in the atmosphere of GJ 1132 b in abundances detectable by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), assuming that the atmosphere is as described by Swain et al. (2021).

Context. The molecular composition of interstellar ice mantles is defined by gas-grain processes in molecular clouds, with the main components being H2O, CO, and CO2. CH3OH ice is detected towards the denser regions, where large amounts of CO freeze out and get hydrogenated.

We report the first identification in space of H2NC, a high-energy isomer of H2CN that has been largely ignored in chemical and astrochemical studies. The observation of various unidentified lines around 72.2 GHz in the cold dark cloud L483 motivated the search for, and successful detection of, additional groups of lines in harmonic relation.

Surprisingly strong CO emission has been observed from more than a dozen debris disks around nearby main-sequence stars. The origin of this CO is unclear, in particular whether it is left over from the protoplanetary disk phase or is second-generation material released from collisions between icy bodies like debris dust.

An international team of astronomers have become the first in the world to detect isotopes in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.

Laboratory experiments play a key role in deciphering the chemistry of the interstellar medium (ISM) and the role that product complex organic molecules (COMs) may play in the origins of life.

A unique study of ancient diamonds has shown that the basic chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere which makes it suitable for life's explosion of diversity was laid down at least 2.7 billion years ago.

In 2011, scientists confirmed a suspicion: There was a split in the local cosmos. Samples of the solar wind brought back to Earth by the Genesis mission definitively determined oxygen isotopes in the sun differ from those found on Earth, the moon and the other planets and satellites in the solar system.

In this article a new, multi-functional, high-vacuum astrophysical ice setup, VIZSLA (Versatile Ice Zigzag Sublimation Setup for Laboratory Astrochemistry), is introduced. The instrument allows the investigation of astrophysical processes both in a low-temperature para-H2 matrix and in astrophysical analog ices.