Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Astrochemistry is the study of the chemicals found in outer space, usually in molecular gas clouds, and their formation, interaction and destruction. As such, it represents an overlap of the disciplines of astronomy and chemistry. The most common molecule H2, does not have a dipole moment, so it is not easily detectable. Much easier to detect is the CO molecule. Hundreds of types of molecules have been observed so far, even ones as complex as amino acids. There is active ongoing research on the way these molecules form and interact. This can have an impact even in our understanding of the origin of life on earth.
Astrochemistry overlaps strongly with astrophysics in characterizing the nuclear reactions which occur in stars, the consequences for stellar evolution, as well as stellar 'generations'.
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