Química de carbono cósmico: do meio interestelar à Terra primeva

sexta-feira, junho 18, 2010

Cosmic Carbon Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Early Earth

Pascale Ehrenfreund1,2 and Jan Cami3,4

-Author Affiliations

1Leiden Institute of Chemistry, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2Space Policy Institute, Washington DC
3Department of Physics and Astronomy, UWO, London, ON, Canada
4SETI Institute, Mountain View, California 94043



Astronomical observations have shown that carbonaceous compounds in the gas and solid state, refractory and icy are ubiquitous in our and distant galaxies. Interstellar molecular clouds and circumstellar envelopes are factories of complex molecular synthesis. A surprisingly large number of molecules that are used in contemporary biochemistry on Earth are found in the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres and surfaces, comets, asteroids and meteorites, and interplanetary dust particles. In this article we review the current knowledge of abundant organic material in different space environments and investigate the connection between presolar and solar system material, based on observations of interstellar dust and gas, cometary volatiles, simulation experiments, and the analysis of extraterrestrial matter. Current challenges in astrochemistry are discussed and future research directions are proposed.

Copyright © 2010 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved