Astrobiology and Astrochemistry Seminar / Spring 2008

February 21 at 4:15 PM in 1402 Pupin

Dr. Valentine Wakelam

University of Bordeaux

Formation and evolution of molecules during star and planet formation

More than 140 molecular species have been observed in the interstellar medium since 1937 containing up to 13 atoms. The formation of these species involves many gas-phase and grain-surface processes not completely understood. Studying the chemical composition of the interstellar medium and its evolution is crucial to understand the formation of stars and planets, and the environment in which life appeared on Earth. Despite the fact that we are making big progresses in the modeling of interstellar chemistry, some open questions remain at different stages of star and planet formation. In this talk, I will address some of these questions and discuss the formation of complex (pre-biotic) molecules in Sun-like star forming regions and their possible survival to the planet formation process.