Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Methylidyne Cation

  • William M. IrvineEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1809-4




The methylidyne ion CH+ was one of the first molecules detected in the interstellar medium, being identified in absorption at visible/near ultraviolet wavelengths in the spectra of background stars in 1941 by Douglas and Herzberg. CH+ emission at visible wavelengths is seen from the tails of comets. Pure rotational transitions have been observed at far infrared wavelengths from planetary nebula, molecular clouds, and Photodissociation regions using the ISO and Herschel satellites.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Interstellar Medium Molecular Cloud Rotational Transition Visible Wavelength 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Cernicharo J, Liu XW, Gonzalez-Alfonso E, Cox P, Barlow MJ, Lim T, Swinyard BM (1997) Discovery of far-infrared pure rotational transitions of CH+ in NGC 7027. Astrophys J Lett 483:L65–L68CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Douglas AE, Herzberg G (1941) Note on CH+ in interstellar space and in the laboratory. Astrophys J 94:381CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of Massachusetts, Lederle Graduate Research Tower B 619EAmherstUSA