Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Organic Dust, Synthesis by Stars

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5074-5

Synonyms

Definition

Organic dust consists of micron- or nanometer-sized carbon-based solid-state particles with aromatic (ring-like) and/or aliphatic (chain-like) structures. The solids could be in crystalline (periodic) form, or more likely, in amorphous (random) form. Possible examples of terrestrial counterpart are soot, which is a product of combustion of hydrocarbons in a flame, and kerogen, the most common form of organics on Earth formed from decayed living matter.

History

The existence of interstellar dust has been known since the early twentieth century through the effect of selective extinction on the light of distant stars. The chemical composition of the dust particles was initially assumed to include graphite, iron, or ice. Development in stellar nucleosynthesis led to the understanding that the element carbon is synthesized in the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase of stellar evolution. This led to the suggestion by Fred Hoyle that...

Keywords

Star dust Stellar evolution 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Allamandola LJ, Tielens AGGM, Barker JR (1985) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the unidentified infrared emission bands – auto exhaust along the Milky Way. Astrophys J 290:L25–L28CrossRefADSMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. Dischler B, Bubenzer A, Koidl P (1983) Bonding in hydrogenated hard carbon studied by optical spectroscopy. Solid State Commun 42:636–638Google Scholar
  3. Duley WW, Williams DA (1979) Are there organic grains in the interstellar medium? Nature 277:40–41CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Ehrenfreund P, Charnley SB (2000) Organic molecules in the interstellar medium, comets, and meteorites: a voyage from dark clouds to the early earth. Annu Rev Astron Astrophys 38:427–483CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Hoyle F (1955) Frontiers of astronomy. Harper Collins, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Hoyle F, Wickramasinghe NC (1977) Polysaccharides and infrared spectra of galactic sources. Nature 268:610–612CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Knacke R (1977) Carbonaceous compounds in interstellar dust. Nature 269:132–134CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Kwok S (2004) The synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds in evolved stars. Nature 430:985–991CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Robertson J (2002) Diamond-like amorphous carbon. Mater Sci Eng R 37:129–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rusli RJ, Amaratunga GAJ (1996) Photoluminescence behavior of hydrogenated amorphous carbon. J Appl Phys 38:2998–3003CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina