Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy > Astrochemistry Enters A Bold New Era With ALMA

Astrochemistry Enters A Bold New Era With ALMA


Combining the cutting-edge capabilities of the ALMA telescope with newly-developed laboratory techniques, scientists are opening a completely new era for deciphering the chemistry of the Universe. A research team demonstrated their breakthrough using ALMA data from observations of the gas in a star-forming region in the constellation Orion.

Using new technology both at the telescope and in the laboratory, the scientists were able to greatly improve and speed the process of identifying the “fingerprints” of chemicals in the cosmos, enabling studies that until now would have been either impossible or prohibitively time-consuming.

“We’ve shown that, with ALMA, we’re going to be able to do real chemical analysis of the gaseous ‘nurseries’ where new stars and planets are forming, unrestricted by many of the limitations we’ve had in the past,” said Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA.

Full Story: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2012/widespectra/

  1. September 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Maybe they will discern the fingerprint of life on one of those exo-planets! (or at least tell us whether they have the ingredients to make Nivea cream in the M31 galaxy).

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