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Astrochemistry in Chemical & Engineering News

(55 stories added to date)

Stories from 2021

11 Sep 2021
disk evolution

Harvard scientist uses astrochemistry to understand the birth of planets

Karin Öberg combines lab experiments, theoretical models, and telescope observations to investigate the reactions that give rise to solar systems
by Raleigh McElvery, special to C&EN
7 Jun 2021
astrobiology, interstellar media

Cell membrane ingredient detected in space

Ethanolamine may be abundant in the universe
by Sam Lemonick
31 May 2021
astrobiology

Chemists design alien life detector

Mass spectrometry works with theory to predict whether a molecular structure came from biogenic sources
by Katharine Sanderson, special to C&EN
31 May 2021
planetary science

Podcast: Where did Mars's water go?

Mars once had as much water as Earth, but today it's cold and dry. In this episode of Stereo Chemistry, we meet the scientists trying to track down the Red Planet's missing water.
by Sam Lemonick, Kerri Jansen
17 May 2021
cosmochemistry

Isotope ratios give insights into how heavy elements are born in space

Supernovas alone cannot account for all the actinides
by Laura Howes
17 May 2021
interstellar media

Methanol could survive the birth of a solar system

Observation suggests complex molecules could exist on planets throughout universe
by Sam Lemonick
19 Apr 2021
exoplanets

6 molecules seen on exoplanet

Gas giant likely formed far from its star before wandering closer
by Sam Lemonick
12 Apr 2021
comets

Comet 67P reveals some answers and more mysteries

New data suggest scientists still have a lot to learn about how our solar system formed
by Sam Lemonick
29 Mar 2021
planetary science

What can we learn from Venus?

Planned and proposed missions to Earth's nearest neighbor could help scientists understand distant exoplanets' chemistry
by Sam Lemonick
22 Mar 2021
interstellar media

PAHs lurking among the stars have now been identified

The discovery could help solve space chemistry puzzles but many gaps still remain
by Sam Lemonick
8 Mar 2021
exoplanets

New exoplanet appears ripe for atmosphere observations

If Gliese 486 b has an atmosphere, it might be our best bet for spectroscopic analysis
by Sam Lemonick
10 Feb 2021
planetary science

Hydrogen chloride found in Mars's atmosphere

HCl's behavior tells scientists they still don't understand martian atmosphere chemistry
by Sam Lemonick

Stories from 2020

28 Dec 2020
astrobiology

Stars' weather could amplify signs of alien life

Simulations show the effects of flares and other events on exoplanets' atmospheric chemistry
by Sam Lemonick
21 Dec 2020
planetary science

New findings challenged our understanding of planetary atmospheres in 2020

Observations of planets near and far show we still have a lot to learn about their atmospheric chemistry
by Sam Lemonick
30 Nov 2020
astrobiology

What are chemical signs of life beyond Earth?

To look for molecules that point to life, scientists seek to understand what makes biohemistry differnt from everything else
by Ariana Remmel
2 Nov 2020
planetary science

There is water on the moon

New observations find H2O can survive the intense solar radiation on the moon
by Sam Lemonick
21 Sep 2020
planetary science, astrobiology

PH3 detected on Venus

The source of the gas remains a mystery, but its presence could suggest life
by Ariana Remmel
31 Aug 2020
cosmochemistry

New analysis challenges existing ideas about our planet's formation

Dry space rocks could have been Earth's water source
by Sam Lemonick
17 Aug 2020

Brett McGuire

Interstellar explorer is expanding our molecular knowledge of space
by Sam Lemonick
17 Aug 2020
planetary science

Ultraviolet glow reveals Mars weather patterns

Spectroscopic observations uncover some surprising behavior in the Martian atmosphere
by Sam Lemonick
8 Jun 2020
exoplanets

Exoplanet aerosols are simpler than astronomers thought

A comprehensive analysis of gas giant atmospheres shows that silicates and hydrocarbons dominate obscuring aerosols
by Sam Lemonick
27 Apr 2020
planetary science

Venus has a more complex atmosphere than scientists thought

New information about nitrogen concentrations could change Venusian atmosphere models and influence how we study exoplanets
by Sam Lemonick
20 Mar 2020
comets

Finding comets' hidden nitrogen

Ammonium salts may serve as nitrogen reservoirs on the icy bodies, suggesting a common origin for comets and the sun
by Raleigh McElvery, special to C&EN

Stories from 2019

22 Jul 2019
planetary science

3 rovers will head to Mars in 2020. Here's what you need to know about their chemical missions

For the firat time, China, Europe, Russia, and the US could have vehicles on the Red Planet operating simultaneously
by Sam Lemonick
25 Mar 2019
planetary science

Asteroid Ryugu is dark and dry

New results suggest a unique celestial object
by Sam Lemonick

Stories from 2018

22 Oct 2018
interstellar media

Predicting the chemistry happening inside interstellar ice

Lab experiments suggest reactions could yield the building blocks of complex organic compounds
by Sam Lemonick
22 Oct 2018
interstellar media

Kavli Prize-winning astrochemist looks back at her career probing chemical complexity in space

Leiden University's Ewine van Dishoeck talks about building instruments for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the James Webb telescopes
by Sam Lemonick
1 Oct 2018
astrobiology

Biocompatible phosphorus could have traveled to Earth on space ice

Lab experiments back up hypothesis that comets and meteorites provided a form of the element compatible with the biochemistry of early life
by Sam Lemonick
17 Sep 2018
astrobiology, exoplanets

Hunt for habitable exoplanets needs new telescopes, report says

by Sam Lemonick
20 Aug 2018
planetary science

Chemists find possible explanation for Titan's haze

Lab experiments suggest low-temperature photochemistry produces the moon's hazy PAHs
by Sam Lemonick
18 Jun 2018
cosmic media

Mysterious galactic radiation pinned on nanodiamonds

Spinning hydrogen-coated clusters of carbon atoms may be source of anomalous microwave emission spotted around our galaxy
by Sam Lemonick
11 Jun 2018
planetary science

Ancient organic molecules found on Mars

Curiosity rover also reports data on the red planet’s mysterious methane plumes
by Mark Peplow, special to C&EN
20 Jan 2018
astrobiology

Atmospheric imbalance may be best clue of extraterrestrial life

New telescopes might search for methane and carbon dioxide, not oxygen
by Sam Lemonick

Stories from 2017

20 Feb 2017
planetary science

Organics found on dwarf planet Ceres

Dawn spacecraft's discovery suggests chemistry needed to make life's building blocks is widespread in solar system

Stories from 2016

21 Nov 2016
comets

Solid CO2 spotted on a comet

Rosetta spacecraft explores 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s seasonal extremes
by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2015

9 Dec 2015
planetary science

Dwarf Planet Shows Some Cometlike Activity

Ceres, which resides in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, may periodically spew water ice, chemical analyses hint
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
26 Oct 2015
comets

Alcohol And Sugar Molecule Spotted On Comet For First Time

Complex organics formed in nascent solar system, study suggests
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
13 Apr 2015
interstellar media

Complex Cyanides Observed In Deep Space

Molecules in protoplanetary disk suggest complex organic chemistry is ubiquitous in the universe
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
26 Jan 2015
comets

Rosetta Reveals Details About Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Initial data shows the comet is covered with a polymeric, organic material
by Jyllian Kemsley

Stories from 2013

13 May 2013
cosmochemistry

Earth And Moon Share Water Source

Water in ancient lunar rocks has isotopic ratio similar to Earth's
by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2012

5 Dec 2012
planetary science, astrobiology

Space Vehicle Curiosity Completes First Analysis Of Martian Dirt

Chlorinated methanes detected, but carbon source, whether biological or not, is still unknown
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
26 Nov 2012

PHYS Creates Astrochemistry Subdivision

by Linda Wang

Stories from 2011

21 Nov 2011
planetary science, astrobiology

Mars Science Laboratory Set For Launch

With chemistry labs on board, its Curiosity rover will identify organics, minerals, isotopes
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
24 Oct 2011
interstellar media

Planet-Forming Disk Soaked In Cold Water

Cold water from ice grains add more to picture of solar system formation and water deposition
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
31 May 2011
planetary science

Say Goodbye To The Phoenix MARS Lander

by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2010

19 Apr 2010
interstellar media

Space-Dust Science

ACS Meeting News: Elucidating the chemistry of interstellar dust particles is key to understanding early planets
by Jyllian N. Kemsley
4 Oct 2010
exoplanets

Earth Gets A Doppelganger

Astronomers discover habitable planet orbiting nearby star
by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2009

13 Nov 2009
planetary science

Water, Water Everywhere–Even On The Moon

Researchers confirm that there is water on the moon
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
21 Sep 2009
planetary science

Precursors To Titan's Smog

Scientists begin to unravel the chemistry behind the orange haze cloaking saturn's moon
by Elizabeth K. Wilson
27 Apr 2009
interstellar media

New Molecules In Space

Discovery of two complex compounds hints at more chemical diversity lurking in space
by Stephen K. Ritter
12 Jan 2009
interstellar media

Online Database Of Molecular Spectra Promises To Help Astronomers

by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2006

1 May 2006
interstellar media

Big Molecules In Space

Prebiotic molecules in interstellar space are hard to detect and study, but astrochemists are closing in
by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2005

31 Jan 2005
planetary science

Exotic Chemistry on Frigid Titan

Huygens probe reveals a world of methane rain and hydrocarbon dirt
by Elizabeth K. Wilson

Stories from 2004

5 Jan 2004
interstellar media

Stars, Celestial Molecules on View

IR telescope lifts the cosmic veil to reveal galactic chemical composition
by Mitch Jacoby
1 Nov 2004
planetary science

Successful Flyby Exposes Titan

Spacecraft brushes past Saturn's biggest moon, scientists await wealth of data
by Elizabeth K. Wilson