The Chemistry of Outer Space

CSMonitor: The chemistry of space grows more complex. ‘The chemistry of outer space continues to amaze astronomers. After several decades of doubt, they know that chemical processes around and between stars produce complex molecules including precursors of organic life. But recent discoveries with a new observing technique show they have barely glimpsed what’s really going on.

The new observations are revealing what University of Arizona astronomer Lucy Ziurys calls “interesting things that weren’t supposed to be there.”

Astrochemist Ian Hollis at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland says the new discoveries show “there are many more ways to build large organic molecules in cosmic environments than have been explored.” That includes many more ways to make organic life’s chemical precursors than astronomers have imagined.’

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