Molecular Cloud and Disk Chemistry

There is a wealth of molecules out in the Universe constituting the material of galaxies, stars, planets and everything in-between, and when we study the chemical complexities in these objects we observe that they have a characteristic chemistry.

Looking deeper we find a rich complex chemistry where molecules combine to form larger, complex molecules such as water, methanol and more essential building blocks in the evolution of life.

To date we have observed more than 160 molecules in interstellar space and from them we can probe properties such as temperature, densities, kinematics, evolutionary stage, intensities of high-energy irradiation, etc. We can then learn of the processes that governs the formation and evolution of the astronomical objects that we study.

With Herschel already gathering data and giving us new insights into the complex chemistry of interstellar space, and in the light of the highly sensitive measurements of the upcoming ALMA facilities, our group concentrates on the study of the chemical evolution in planet and star formation, including dark clouds, hot cores, warm protostellar envelopes and protoplanetary disks, including the Solar system.

By studying the evolution of molecules we can probe the processes in play to increase our understanding in the complex evolution to stars and planets, and follow the evolution of important species such as water, methanol and more.

For more information see the next page.

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