Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1808-4




Methylene (CH2) is the simplest carbene. The carbon is covalently bonded to two hydrogen atoms and bears two nonbonded electrons whose spins may be antiparallel (singlet state) or parallel (triplet state). It is an intermediary in the production and destruction of interstellar organic molecules.


Interstellar methylene was detected at a wavelength of about 4 mm by Hollis et al. (1995).

See Also


Hydrogen Atom Chemical Process Bioorganic Chemistry Organic Molecule Triplet State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References and Further Reading

  1. Hollis JM, Jewell PR, Lovas FJ (1995) Confirmation of interstellar methylene. Astrophys J 438:259–264CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA