Organic Matter in Space (IAU S251)

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Overview

Our knowledge of the origin, evolution, nature, and distribution of organic matter in space has undergone a revolution in recent years. Insights into various aspects of this material can be found using a variety of different technical approaches. These range from telescopic measurements by observational astronomers over a wide range of wavelengths, to laboratory experiments and simulations by chemists, physicists, and spectroscopists, and analyses of actual extraterrestrial materials. IAU Symposium 251 brought together expertise of scientists from different disciplines, including observational astronomers, laboratory spectroscopists, and solar system scientists, to provide a synthesis of our current understanding of these organics and to identify areas in which additional work and new ideas are required to further our understanding.

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Meet the Author

Sun Kwok is a leading world authority on the subject of astrochemistry and stellar evolution. He is best known for his theory on the origin of planetary nebulae and the death of Sun-like stars. His recent research has been on the topic of the synthesis of complex organic compounds in the late stages of stellar evolution. He is the author of many books, including The Origin and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae (2000), Cosmic Butterflies (2001), Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium (2007) and Organic Matter in the Universe (2012). He has been a guest observer on many space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Infrared Space Observatory. He currently serves as President of Commission 34 Interstellar Matter of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), as well as Vice President of IAU Commission 51 Bioastronomy. He served as chairman of the IAU Planetary Nebulae Working Group between 1994 and 2001, and as organizing committee member of the IAU Astrochemistry Working Group.

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Table of Contents

Preface; From the local organising committee; Organising committee; Conference participants; Opening address of Symposium 251 C. Cesarsky; Session I. Observations of organic compounds beyond the Solar System William Irvine, Ewine van Dishoeck, Yvonne Pendleton and Hans Olofsson; Session II. Organic compounds within the Solar System Scott Sandford, Ernst Zinner and Dale Cruikshank; Session III. Laboratory analogues of organic compounds in space Max Bernstein and Thomas Henning; Banquet speech; Author index; Object index.

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