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_5126-1



Radio astronomers have detected the cyanide anion, CN, in the circumstellar envelope of the evolved carbon-rich star CW Leo (also called IRC+10216). It is the smallest molecular anion (2 atoms) thus far identified in such regions (the anions C3N and C5N, for example, had previously been observed). For references, see Molecules in Space.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Radio Astronomy Molecular Anion Circumstellar Envelope Cyanide Anion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA