Astrochemistry, cosmochemistry and interstellar chemistry.

Astrochemistry and Cosmochemistry are the study of the chemical elements and chemical compounds, that can be found in the outerspace, in stars, planets, comets, meteorits, interstellar matter etc.

Astrochemistry is closely linked with physics, specifically astrophysics. And there are more and more organic molecules in open space discovered, so that astro-biological aspects in this theme area find their way - not least with the question of the origin of life and for the existence of extraterrestrial life forms.

Below you will find information resources on astrochemistry and related topics.


Current Articles
General Information
Lecture Notes, Tutorials
Special Information
Data and Databases
News Archive
Research facilities and departments

Current Articles

Cosmic Bleach
Hydrogen peroxide found in clouds of cosmic gas and dust

N-omega-Amino Acids in Antarctic Meteorites
Meteorites reveal another way to make life's components

Sulfur Chemistry of Exploding Stars
Meteorite contains evidence of formation of sulfur molecules in the ejecta of a supernova explosion

What is Life?
New answers to an age-old question: special collection of essays [open access] in the journal Astrobiology

General Information

Astrochemistry Examples
… in the classroom - Format: PDF

Astromolecule of the Month
List ...

Chemistry of Star Forming Regions
... explains the background behind the problems we are addressing at the Centre, and serves as a useful reference guide to all those who are interested in cosmic chemistry

Cometary Molecules
Data table. The Cosmic Ice Laboratory, NASA

Comets I
A Brief History of Comets I. ESO

Comets II
A Brief History of Comets II. ESO

In Dust We Trust
An Overview of Observations and Theories of Interstellar Dust. CALTECH

Interstellar Graines
Article: "Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics" (IOP Publishing and MacMillan), 1266-1273, 2001. Princeton University

Interstellar Molecules
Data table. NASA

Looking for molecules
Article. ESO

Mars Pathfinder Instrument Descriptions
Imager For Mars Pathfinder (IMP); Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS); APXS Deployment Mechanism; Atmospheric Structure Instrument/Meteorology Package (ASI/MET). NASA

Molecular Spectroscopy
... contains very specialized technical information. While the general user is welcome to browse its contents, the descriptions assume a knowledge of spectroscopy and quantum mechanics. NASA

Solar System Ices
Data table. NASA

The Interstellar Medium
Lecture notes - Format: PDF

The Next Decade in Astrochemistry
An Astro2010 Science White Paper - Format: PDF

Lecture Notes, Tutorials

Lecture notes - Format: PDF

Lecture notes - Format: PDF

Lecture notes: molecular universe - Format: PDF

Astrophysics and Astrochemistry
Lecture notes - Format: PDF

Interstellar Chemistry
Lecture notes - Format: PDF

Special Information

Galactic Chemical Evolution
Stellar and Supernovae Nucleosynthesis And Cosmic Chemical Evolution - Format: PDF

Galactic Chemical Evolution
A review of the current state-of-the-art semi-analytical and chemodynamical models for the MilkyWay, emphasising the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches. WSU - Format: PDF

UV photolysis of quinoline
... in interstellar ice analogs. Article. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 41, Nr 5, 785–796 (2006) - Format: PDF

Data and Databases

129 reported interstellar and circumstellar molecules
Molecules are found in interstellar clouds of various sorts. National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Interstellar Molecular Microwave Transitions
NIST Recommended Rest Frequencies for Observed Interstellar Molecular Microwave Transitions

Kinetic Database for Astrochemistry
KIDA is a database of kinetic data of interest for astrochemical (interstellar medium and planetary atmospheres) studies. In addition to the available referenced data, KIDA provides recommendations over a number of important reactions

Molecules in Space
Information on the detection of the respective molecules, including minor isotopic species or molecules in excited vibrational states as well as links to articles

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
... is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant

UMIST Database for Astrochemistry


Advances in Space Research
... is an open journal covering all areas of space research including: space studies of the Earth's surface, meteorology, climate, the Earth-Moon system, planets and small bodies of the solar system, upper atmospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres of the Earth and planets including reference atmospheres, space plasmas in the solar system, astrophysics from space, materials sciences in space, life sciences as related to space, fundamental physics in space, space debris, space weather, earth observations of space phenomena, etc. Elsevier

... is the leading peer-reviewed journal that explores the secrets of life's origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny in the universe. This multidisciplinary journal covers: astrophysics; astropaleontology, bioastronomy, cosmochemistry, ecogenomics, exobiology, extremophiles, geomicrobiology, gravitational biology, life detection technology, meteoritics, origins of life, planetary geoscience, planetary protection, prebiotic chemistry, space exploration technology, terraforming, and much more. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Earth, Moon, and Planets
An International Journal of Solar System Science, publishes original contributions on subjects ranging from star and planet formation and the origin and evolution of the solar and extra-solar planetary systems, to asteroids, comets, meteoroids and near-Earth objects, including the terrestrial impact hazard and solar system - terrestrial relationships, and related topics. Springer

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
GCA. publishes research papers in a wide range of subjects in terrestrial geochemistry, meteoritics, and planetary geochemistry. Elsevier

International Journal of Astrobiology
Astrobiology combines the sciences of biology, chemistry, palaeontology, geology, atmospheric physics, planetary science, astrophysics and cosmology in the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe and the future of life both on Earth and beyond. The International Journal of Astrobiology is the forum for practitioners in this exciting interdisciplinary field. Cambridge University Press

Meteoritics and Planetary Science
The journal publishes research articles describing the latest results of new studies, invited reviews of major topics in planetary science, editorials on issues of current interest in the field. Wiley


TOF-SIMS in Cosmochemistry
Dissertation 2004. University of Münster

Zirconium Isotope Cosmochemistry
Dissertation 2003. ETH Zürich

News Archive

Chemical Analysis of a Red Giant Star
Scientists determine for the first time the chemical composition of a type of red giant star with more carbon than oxygen in its atmosphere

Europa's Hidden Ice Chemistry
About the formation of sulfur oxyanions on Jupiter's moon Europa

Interstellar Water Synthesis
Hot Water in Cold Comets: An international research team recently succeeded deciphering an important aspect of the way by which water molecules often form in space

Lithium Depletion of the Sun
Exoplanets clue to sun's curious chemistry

The Largest Known Reservoir of Rare Metals in the Universe
Suzaku spies treasure trove of intergalactic metal.

Research facilities and departments

Astrochemistry Lab
... at NASA Ames Research Center

Leiden Molecular Astrophysics and Astrobiology groups
... is composed of people working on various aspects of interstellar molecules (astrophysics, physics, chemistry). The group includes the Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics and is closely linked with the Astrobiology project.


Astromaterials Curation
Stratospheric Dust. NASA

is chartered by the Discipline Scientist for NASA's Cosmochemistry Program to advise on matters concerning the Apollo lunar samples, sample return missions, and solid materials of the solar system

Meteoritical Society
... is a non-profit scholarly organization founded in 1933 to promote the study of extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites and space mission returned samples, and their history

The Astrochymist
Resources for Astrochemists and Interested Bystanders

Related Books and Scientific Literature: Astrochemistry

Book recommendation

Andrew Shaw

Astrochemistry. From Astronomy to Astrobiology.

The dynamic field of astrochemistry brings together ideas of physics, astrophysics, biology and chemistry to the study of molecules between stars, around stars and on planets. "Astrochemistry: from Astronomy to Astrobiology" provides a clear and concise introduction to this rapidly evolving multidisciplinary subject. Starting with the Molecular Universe, the text covers the formation of the elements, simple models of stars and their classification. It then moves on to draw on the theme of the Origins of Life to study interstellar chemistry, meteorite and comet chemistry as well as the chemistry of planets. Prebiotic chemistry and astrobiology are explored by examining the extremes of the biosphere on Earth, seeing how this may be applied to life in other solar systems. "Astrochemsitry" assumes a basic familiarity with principles of physical and organic chemistry but no prior knowledge of biology or astrophysics. This innovative text incorporates results from the latest research and ground and space missions, with key images enhanced by a colour plate section.

It includes latest research and results from ground and space missions colour plate section summary of concepts and calculations at the end of each chapter. This book will be an ideal text for an undergraduate course in Astrochemistry and an essential tool for postgraduates entering the field.

Wiley; 2006

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Entries: 52

Last update 16.11.2016

Keywords: Astrochemistry, Cosmochemistry, basics, information, research

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