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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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O1a: Contributed Orals – Origins: From Stars to Life
Time: Monday, 04/Jul/2011: 9:45am - 10:15am
Session Chair: James Kasting
Location: Auditorium Pasteur


Delivery of Complex Organic Compounds from Evolved Stars to the Solar System

Sun Kwok

The University of Hong Kong, China, Peoples Republic of

Stars in the late stages of evolution are able to synthesize complex organic compounds with aromatic and aliphatic structures over very short time scales. These compounds are ejected into the interstellar medium and distributed throughout the Galaxy. The structures of these compounds are similar to the insoluble organic matter found in meteorites. In this talk, we will discuss to what extent stellar organics has enriched the primordial Solar System and possibly the early Earth.

The origin and distribution of interstellar methanol ice: The route to complex organic molecules in preplanetary matter

Douglas Whittet

New York Center for Astrobiology, RPI, Troy, NY 12180, United States of America

Methanol forms on grain surfaces in interstellar clouds, and subsequent reactions involving methanol drive production of more complex organics. I discuss new observational constraints on the origin and distribution of methanol in interstellar ices. I conclude that significant abundances are reached at relatively late stages in the mantle growth process. A small subset of young stellar objects display anomalously high methanol abundances that are not readily explained by current models.