Protostellar and cometary detections of organohalogens
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017

Organohalogens, a class of molecules that contain at least one halogen atom bonded to carbon, are abundant on the Earth where they are mainly produced through industrial and biological processes(1). Consequently, they have been proposed as biomarkers in the search for life on exoplanets(2). Simple halogen hydrides have been detected in interstellar sources and in comets, but the presence and possible incorporation of more complex halogen-containing molecules such as organohalogens into planet-forming regions is uncertain(3,4). Here we report the interstellar detection of two isotopologues of the organohalogen CH3Cl and put some constraints on CH3F in the gas surrounding the low-mass protostar IRAS 16293-2422, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). We also find CH3Cl in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) by using the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument. The detections reveal an efficient pre-planetary formation pathway of organohalogens. Cometary impacts may deliver these species to young planets and should thus be included as a potential abiotical production source when interpreting future organohalogen detections in atmospheres of rocky planets.


E. C. Fayolle

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

K. I. Öberg

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

J. K. Jorgensen

Köpenhamns universitet

Kathrin Altwegg

Universität Bern

Köpenhamns universitet

Hannah Calcutt

Köpenhamns universitet

Holger S.P. Muller

Universität zu Köln

M. Rubin

Universität Bern

M. H. D. van der Wiel

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

Per Bjerkeli

Galaktisk astrofysik

T. L. Bourke

Jodrell Bank Observatory

A. Coutens

University College London (UCL)

E. F. van Dishoeck

Universiteit Leiden


M. N. Drozdovskaya

Universität Bern

R. T. Garrod

University of Virginia

N. F. W. Ligterink

Universiteit Leiden

Magnus V. Persson

Galaktisk astrofysik

S. F. Wampfler

Universität Bern

Hans Balsiger

Universität Bern

Jean Jacques Berthelier

Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS)

Johan De-Keyser

Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB)

Björn Fiethe

Technische Universität Braunschweig

Stephen A Fuselier

Southwest Research Institute

Sébastien Gasc

Universität Bern

Tamás Gombosi

University of Michigan

Thierry Sémon

Universität Bern

Chiayu Tzou

Universität Bern

Nature Astronomy

23973366 (eISSN)

Vol. 1 10 703-708


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi



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