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Chemistry between the stars

Journal Article:

Abstract

During the past 15 years the techniques used by chemists to determine accurate molecular structures have combined with those of radio astronomers to probe the space between the stars. Together they paint a new picture of interstellar space, a picture which shows that vast clouds of gas and dust are continually collapsing to form stars and planets and that the main constituents of these clouds are molecules, some of which are quite complex organic species. It is now known that many of the organic building blocks, useful in the evolution of biologically significant macromolecules, existed long before the Earth was formed. These findings present a challenge to previous widely-accepted theories that such molecules were first generated in the Earth's primaeval atmosphere. In this paper certain aspects of these discoveries are considered with particular emphasis on the contributions made by techniques of use in general chemistry. After a brief astronomical introduction to the Interstellar Medium (ISM) the interaction between chemistry and radioastronomy is discussed. This is followed by details of some exciting, new and quite unexpected advances in our understanding of carbon chemistry, discovered during experiments aimed at understanding some of the more perplexing radioastronomy results. Finally an overview is given  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Jan 01, 1986
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
GBN-87-002291; EDB-88-004246
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Proc. R. Inst. G. B.; (United Kingdom); Journal Volume: 58
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; COSMOLOGICAL MODELS; CARBON COMPOUNDS; COSMIC DUST; COSMIC GASES; COSMOCHEMISTRY; INTERSTELLAR GRAINS; MOLECULES; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; RADIOASTRONOMY; SOLAR SYSTEM EVOLUTION; STARS; ASTRONOMY; CHEMISTRY; DUSTS; FLUIDS; GASES; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; PARTICLES; SPACE; 640105* - Astrophysics & Cosmology- Galaxies
OSTI ID:
6023900
Research Organizations:
Sussex Univ., Brighton, UK. Astronomy Centre
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: CODEN: PIGBA
Submitting Site:
GBN
Size:
Pages: 45-72
Announcement Date:
Dec 01, 1987

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Kroto, H W. Chemistry between the stars. United Kingdom: N. p., 1986. Web.
Kroto, H W. Chemistry between the stars. United Kingdom.
Kroto, H W. 1986. "Chemistry between the stars." United Kingdom.
@misc{etde_6023900,
title = {Chemistry between the stars}
author = {Kroto, H W}
abstractNote = {During the past 15 years the techniques used by chemists to determine accurate molecular structures have combined with those of radio astronomers to probe the space between the stars. Together they paint a new picture of interstellar space, a picture which shows that vast clouds of gas and dust are continually collapsing to form stars and planets and that the main constituents of these clouds are molecules, some of which are quite complex organic species. It is now known that many of the organic building blocks, useful in the evolution of biologically significant macromolecules, existed long before the Earth was formed. These findings present a challenge to previous widely-accepted theories that such molecules were first generated in the Earth's primaeval atmosphere. In this paper certain aspects of these discoveries are considered with particular emphasis on the contributions made by techniques of use in general chemistry. After a brief astronomical introduction to the Interstellar Medium (ISM) the interaction between chemistry and radioastronomy is discussed. This is followed by details of some exciting, new and quite unexpected advances in our understanding of carbon chemistry, discovered during experiments aimed at understanding some of the more perplexing radioastronomy results. Finally an overview is given of the present knowledge of the molecular composition of the ISM and the resulting implications in so far as the origins of life are concerned.}
journal = {Proc. R. Inst. G. B.; (United Kingdom)}
volume = {58}
journal type = {AC}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {1986}
month = {Jan}
}