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PAHs in Astronomy - A Review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2008

Farid Salama*
Affiliation:
NASA Ames Research Center, Space Science Division, Mail Stop: 245-6, Moffett Field, California 94035-1000, USA email: farid.salama@nasa.gov
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Abstract

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Carbonaceous materials play an important role in space. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a ubiquitous component of organic matter in space. Their contribution is invoked in a broad spectrum of astronomical observations that range from the ultraviolet to the far-infrared and cover a wide variety of objects and environments from meteorites and interplanetary dust particles to outer Solar System bodies to the interstellar medium in the local Milky Way and in other galaxies. Extensive efforts have been devoted in the past two decades to experimental, theoretical, and observational studies of PAHs. A brief review is given here of the evidence obtained so far for the contribution of PAHs to the phenomena aforementioned. An attempt is made to distinguish the cases where solid evidence is available from cases where reasonable assumptions can be made to the cases where the presence - or the absence - of PAHs is purely speculative at this point.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2008

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