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Astrochemistry Enters a Bold New Era with ALMA

20 September, 2012 / Read time: 1 minute

National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) astronomer, Anthony Remijan, describes a new technique for combining broadband laboratory spectroscopy with broadband astronomical observations of the spectral "fingerprints" of complex molecules in space, to identify molecules and understand how they form and evolve in space.

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.

Credits: National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Tania Burchell, Bill Saxton