Astrochemistry: January 2022

Although first considered as too diluted for the formation of molecules in-situ and too harsh an environment for their survival, the interstellar medium has turned out to host a rich palette of molecular species: to date, 256 species have been identified.

The chemistry of phosphorus in star- and planet-forming regions is poorly understood, despite the central role of phosphorus in terrestrial biochemistry.

The nuclear-spin chemistry of interstellar water is investigated using the University of Grenoble Alpes Astrochemical Network (UGAN). This network includes reactions involving the different nuclear-spin states of the hydrides of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur, as well as their deuterated forms.

Evidence demonstrates a close connection between the fraction of organic matter buried in sediments and changes in supernovae occurrence. This correlation is apparent during the last 3.5 billion years and in closer detail over the previous 500 million years.

The previously elusive methanediol molecule of importance to the organic, atmospheric science and astrochemistry communities has been synthetically produced for the first time by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers.

C-complex asteroids, rich in carbonaceous materials, are potential sources of Earth's volatile inventories.