Astrochemistry and the first steps toward star and planet formation
Prof. Dr. Paola Caselli (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching)
Stars and planetary systems form within dense (≈ 105 H2 molecules per cc) and cold (≈ 10K) fragments of interstellar molecular clouds. Molecules are unique tracers of the physical/chemical conditions and dynamical evolution of these regions. Thus, astrochemistry is crucial to identify the ideal molecule and transition to observe. In this talk I will review results obtained from astrochemical studies of interstellar objects in the earliest stages of star and planet formation. Links to our solar systems will also be presented.