Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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


  • Shin Miyakawa
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_719-3


A heterocycle is an organic compound which contains within a ring structure, which can be aliphatic or aromatic, at least one element other than carbon, such as nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. Examples are purines, pyrimidines, imidazoles, and quinolines. These structures may exist in PAHs in meteorites and dusts and in Titan hazes. In prebiotic experiments, these compounds can be formed by electric discharges and proton irradiation of gas mixtures containing carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, such as CH4-N2-H2O.

See Also


Nucleic Acid Organic Compound Bioorganic Chemistry Electric Discharge Ring Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ribomic IncTokyoJapan