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planetary disk

The James Webb Space Telescope will be astrochemists’ newest and most powerful tool

November 7, 2021

Delayed for more than a decade, the world’s next flagship space telescope will launch in December, giving scientists an unprecedented view of chemistry around the galaxy

JWST will provide scientists with new ways to study gas-phase molecules in protoplanetary disks that they’ve previously monitored with other telescopes, like the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. Above Earth’s atmosphere, the JWST will observe vibrational signatures of molecules, like water, that ALMA cannot. And the JWST’s bigger...

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Conditions That Triggered Life On Earth Could Exist More Widely Across The Milky Way Say Scientists In Landmark Study (Forbes)

September 16, 2021

The dust and gas where planets form have been mapped in extraordinary detail around five nearby young stars—and astronomers have found organic molecules that are implicated in the emergence of life on Earth.

The findings suggest that the basic chemical conditions that resulted in life on Earth could exist more widely across the Milky Way, according to Dr John Ilee, Research Fellow at the University of Leeds who lead a project called Molecules with ALMA at Planet-forming Scales (MAPS).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2021/09/16/conditions-that-...

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In this artists conception, planets form from the gas and dust in the protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star.

Planets Form in Organic Soups with Different Ingredients

September 15, 2021

Cambridge, MA -- Astronomers have mapped out the chemicals inside of planetary nurseries in extraordinary detail. The newly unveiled maps reveal the locations of dozens of molecules within five protoplanetary disks — regions of dust and gas where planets form around young stars.

"These planet-forming disks are teeming with organic molecules, some which are implicated in the origins of life here on Earth," explains Karin Öberg, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics |...

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An artist's conception of a planet-forming, circumstellar disk around a young star.

The evolving chemistry of protoplanetary disks

September 11, 2020

Planets form from the gas and dust in disks that surround young stars. Chemicals in the disk that evaporate easily, called volatiles, include important molecules like water, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, as well as other simple organic molecules. The amount of volatile material that accumulates in a planet as it forms is a key factor in determining the planet's atmosphere and suitability for life, and depends on the details of the gas and ice reservoirs in the disk at the time of planet formation.

CfA astronomers Karin Oberg, Sean Andrews, Jane Huang, Chunhua Qi, and David Wilner...

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ALMA image of the planet-forming disk around the young star RU Lup.

ALMA Captures Stirred-Up Planet Factory

August 3, 2020

In recent years, high resolution observations of dust structures have revolutionized our understanding of planet formation. However, this new image of the gas indicates that the current view of planet formation is still too simplistic and that it might be much more chaotic than previously inferred from the well-known images of neatly concentric ringed disks

https://public.nrao.edu/news/alma-captures-stirred-up-planet-factory/...

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