NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Nucleobases in Space: Laboratory Studies of Polycyclic Aromatic Nitrogen HeterocyclesPolycyclic Aromatic Nitrogen Heterocycles (PANHs) are heterocyclic aromatics Le., PAHs with carbon atoms replaced by a nitrogen atom. These molecules have been detected in meteorite extracts, and in general these nitrogen heterocycles are of astrobiological interest since this class of molecules include nucleobases, basic components of our nucleic acids. These compounds are predicted to be present in the interstellar medium and in Titan tholin, but have received relatively little attention. We will present spectra and reactions of PANHs, frozen in solid H2O at 12 K, conditions germane to astronomical observations. In contrast to simple PAHs, that do not interact strongly with solid H2O, the nitrogen atoms in PANHs are potentially capable of hydrogen bonding with H20 changing their spectra, complicating their remote detection on the surfaces of icy bodies. Moreover, we have studied the photo-chemistry of these interesting compounds under astrophysical conditions and will use our lab studies to assess a potential interstellar heritage of these compounds in carbonaceous chondrites.
Document ID
20050156196
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Elsila, Jamie (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Mattioda, Andy (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Bernstein, Max (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Sandford, Scott (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Hudgins, Doug (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Atomic and Molecular Physics
Meeting Information
NAI Meeting(Boulder, CO)
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 21-344-53-1A
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.