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_1823-4



The C5N radical is found in both the envelopes of carbon stars (evolved stars whose atmospheres contain more carbon than oxygen, the excess carbon presumably produced by helium fusion in the latter stages of the star’s life) and in cold, dark interstellar molecular clouds (typically those that have not been heated by star formation). It is an intermediary in the chemistry of the cyanopolyynes and related molecules (Guelin et al. 1998). The rotational transitions of the cyanobutadiynyl radical are observed by radio astronomers at millimeter wavelengths. The anion of this species, C5N, has also been found in space (Cernicharo et al. 2008).

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Star Formation Molecular Cloud Rotational Transition Related Molecule 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Cernicharo J, Guélin M, Agúndez M, McCarthy MC, Thaddeus P (2008) Detection of C5N and vibrationally excited C6H in IRC +10216. Astrophys J 688:L83–L86ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Guelin M, Neininger N, Cernicharo J (1998) Astronomical detection of the cyanobutadiynyl radical C5N. Astron Astrophys 335:L1–L4ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Astronomy, Lederle Graduate Research Tower B 619EUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA