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Chemical Evolution in the Interstellar Medium: From Astrochemistry to AstrobiologyGreat strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material thanks to advances in infrared astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by earlier astrochemical standards, are widespread and very abundant throughout much of the Universe. In cold molecular clouds, the birthplace of planets and stars, interstellar molecules freeze onto dust and ice particles forming mixed molecular ices dominated by simple species such as water, methanol, ammonia, and carbon monoxide. Within these clouds, and especially in the vicinity of star and planet forming regions, these ices and PAHs are processed by ultraviolet light and cosmic rays forming hundreds of far more complex species, some of biogenic interest. Eventually, these are delivered to primordial planets by comets and meteorites. Astrochemical evolution, highlights of this field from a chemist's perspective, and the astronomer's infrared toolbox will be reviewed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Allamandola, Louis J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
August 16, 2009
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Fall 2009 National Meeting and Exposition(Washington, DC)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 811073.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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