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Detection of a new molecule in the interstellar medium

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In collaboration with  the Niels Bohr Institute (University of Copenhagen), the PhLAM (University of Lille), the ENSC (Université of  Rennes) and the Department of chemistry of the University of the Missouri-Kansas CityCyril Richard, Research Engineer CNRS at the ICB laboratory, saw its work published on July 28 in the scientific journa Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Part of his research work involves analyzing high-resolution molecular spectra obtained in the laboratory. His predictions therefore made it possible to detect a new molecule in the vicinity of a star in formation.

The subject of the article is doubly deuterated dimethyl ether, a 9 atom molecule: CH3OCHD2, detected in great abundance in the interstellar medium. This detection was made possible thanks to the ALMA radio telescope, made up of 66 antennas and installed in the Atacama desert in northern Chile.

The observation of this molecule thus makes it possible to better understand the formation of the various molecules important for studying the primitive conditions of life on Earth.

> For more information : Torsional-rotational spectrum of doubly deuterated dimethyl ether (CH3OCHD2) – First ALMA detection in the interstellar medium, C. Richard, J. K. Jørgensen, L. Margulès, R. A. Motiyenko, J.-C. Guillemin and P. Groner, A&A, 651 (2021) A120


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