The discovery of over 130 molecules in interstellar space, which included more than 70 extraterrestrial amino acids and other organic compounds, is discussed. The discovery of glycine may be the first link in a tentative chain that connects the chemistry in distant star-forming regions and the organic composition of meteorites. There is also evidence that complex carbonaceous macromolecules resembling coal or soot and small amounts of fullerenes can be formed in particular stellar environments. These observations suggest that interstellar molecules could have played a role in seeding primitive solar-system bodies with organic molecules, which were precursors to the larger biomolecules generated by prebiotic chemistry on earth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)