Seminar 2019-11-22. Prebiotic molecules in space: How they are made and where to find them.

By: Guillermo Muñoz Caro, Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)

Day: November 22, 2019
Time: 12:00

Venue: Auditorio del Centro de Astrobiología
Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)
Ctra. de Ajalvir, Km.4
28850 Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid)

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Title: Prebiotic molecules in space: How they are made and where to find them.

Abstract: The formation of relatively complex molecules in pre-cometary dust grains covered by ice mantles has been simulated experimentally. Photon (UV and X-rays) and cosmic-ray (protons, electrons, heavier nuclei) irradiation of ice mixtures containing H2O, CO, CO2, CH3OH, and NH3, forms radicals that react with other radicals or with molecules in the ice. Among other organic species of prebiotic interest, amino acids, sugars and nucleobases were produced in these experiments. The ESA-Rosetta mission detected some of these molecules in a comet, while ground-based observations allow their detection in interstellar clouds and protoplanetary disks. But, how are the organic species present in comets and meteorites formed in space? We will try to answer this question using our current knowledge of ice processes simulated in the laboratory.

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