Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

FP6

MOLECULAR UNIVERSE Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 512302
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP6-MOBILITY
Paese: Netherlands

Final Activity Report Summary - MOLECULAR UNIVERSE (The Molecular Universe: An interdisciplinary programme on the physics and chemistry of molecules in space)

The MOLECULAR UNIVERSE is a network of 21 European institutes in 9 countries that are all very active in various areas of molecular astrophysics. This highly interdisciplinary research area combines astronomy, physics, and chemistry on molecules of astronomical relevance. The scientific goals of the MOLECULAR UNIVERSE network focus on understanding the origin and evolution of molecular complexity in space and the role of molecules in shaping the universe around us, specifically in regions of star and planet formation. The research of the MOLECULAR UNIVERSE network is directly linked to the interpretation and analysis of the data that will be obtained by the Herschel Space Observatory - which will be launched by the European Space Agency in 2006 - and the ALMA sub-millimeter interferometer - which is under construction by the European Southern Observatory on the Chilean high-planes.

Among the many scientific accomplishments of the network, we highlight two areas. First, gaseous water is thought to play a key role in the physics and chemistry of the Universe, particularly in regions of star and planet formation. The Herschel satellite -which will be launched by the European Space Agency in the spring of 2009 - is set to chart the waters of Universe in detail. The MOLECULAR UNIVERSE network has studied the molecular physics of water that will enable a quantitative interpretation of the data that Herschel will deliver. Second, experimental studies of the chemistry of carbonaceous species provides another highlight of the research performed by the network. This includes on the one hand, reactions among simple species building up more complex molecules and on the other hand, the breakdown of more complex molecules through energetic photons. These processes play a key role in the origin and evolution of complex molecules in space.

Contatto

Alexander TIELENS
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Fax: +31-50-3636100
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