Astrochemistry Insights in Science Magazine, by Christine Joblin and José Cernicharo

Cone Nebula (NGC 2264) Credits: NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO), M.Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), the ACS Science Team, and ESA.

Detecting the building blocks of aromatics” is the title of this “Insight” written by Christine Joblin and José Cernicharo (both NANOCOSMOS PIs together with J.A. Martín Gago) and talking about the history and importance of the work published by Brett A. McGuire et al. (“Detection of the aromatic molecule benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN) in the interstellar medium“) in the “Science Magazine” (12/01/2018).

This is the summary of the article from C. Joblin and J. Cernicharo:

“Interstellar clouds are sites of active organic chemistry. Many small, gasphase molecules are found in the dark parts of the clouds that are protected from ultraviolet (UV) photons, but these molecules photodissociate in the external layers of the cloud that are exposed to stellar radiation (see the photo). These irradiated regions are populated by large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with characteristic infrared (IR) emission features. These large aromatics are expected to form from benzene (C6H6), which is, however, difficult to detect because it does not have a permanent dipole moment and can only be detected via its IR absorption transitions against a strong background source (2). On page 202 of this issue, McGuire et al. (3) report the detection of benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN) with radio telescopes. Benzonitrile likely forms in the reaction of CN with benzene; from its observation, it is therefore possible to estimate the abundance of benzene itself”.


NANOCOSMOS on “Encounters on the Frontiers of Science” (Valladolid, December 2, 2015)

The meeting “Encounters on the frontiers of science” will take place on December 2, 2015 in Valladolid. This meeting is organised by the “Fundación Duques de Soria” and the University of Valladolid, the “Fundación Universidades Castilla y León” and the University of Salamanca.

This conference will tackle several issues such as magnetism, neutrinos, relativity, graphene and astrochemistry, among others. In order to discuss the progress that Astrochemistry has had in recent years, José Cernicharo, leader of the Molecular Astrophysics Group at the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (CSIC) and one of the Principal Investigators of the Nanocosmos ERC Project, will give a talk entitled “Astrochemistry: chemical complexity in space“. It will be tomorrow, December 2, at 12:00 in the Campus Miguel Delibes (Aulario, Aula Magna, Paseo de Belén, 9) at the University of Valladolid.

Program of the meeting


NANOCOSMOS workshops/meetings


NANOCOSMOS Interstellar Dust Meeting

Date: 12 – 13 June 2017

Place: Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France)

Key dates: 

Abstract submission deadline: April 30th, 2017

Registration deadline: May 14th, 2017



European Conference on Laboratory AstrophysicsGas on the Rocks (ECLA2016)

Outcome of the conference: See “A summary of the ECLA2016” link

November 21 – 25, 2016 (CSIC Headquarters, Madrid, Spain)

Webpage: ECLA2016


Key dates:
Second announcement:  February 1st, 2016 (opening of the conference web page).
Deadline for abstract submission: June 15, 2016
Deadline for early registration: July 15, 2016
Deadline for information participants about selected contributing talks: June 30, 2016
Final program: July 15, 2016
Last announcement with final details: November 1st, 2016


Over the last decade, European research activities in the field of laboratory astrophysics have experienced an impressive increase in their potential to address astrophysical problems, in particular by providing essential information on the physical and chemical processes leading to chemical complexity in space resulting in star and planet formation. These activities have been motivated by the interpretation of astronomical observations obtained with single dish telescopes and short baseline interferometers. The wealth of data obtained with ALMA, space facilities (Herschel, Spitzer, Rosetta, the coming JWST, E-ELT), and other ground based observatories (VLTI, NOEMA, …), require new methodologies for the astrophysical modeling that will lead to new challenges for laboratory astrophysics.

This conference aims to address the state of the art in laboratory astrophysics within the context of these new astrophysical data and to improve communication and collaboration between astrophysicists, physicists and (geo) chemists. Hence, the conference structure will consist of invited talks presenting topics in astrophysics and planetary science and related laboratory astrophysics activities. Contributing talks will be selected to complement the topics from the astrophysical, laboratory, and theoretical/modeling points of view.

The astrophysical areas that will be addressed are:

Comets, asteroids, meteorites and the primitive Solar System nebula: formation and evolution
Protoplanetary disks and planet formation
Planet, Moon, and exoplanet surfaces and atmospheres
The signatures of the evolving interstellar medium
Dense Clouds: the gas-ice interface
Chemical fingerprints of star formation
The late stages of star evolution: dust formation
Supernovae and shocks: high-energy processing of matter

The conference will cover studies in many fields such as spectroscopy, analytical (geo) chemistry, reactivity, nanoscience, and quantum chemistry, pertaining to different matter components (gas, plasma, PAHs, ices, dust, solid surfaces, …).

SOC composition
Jose Cernicharo (chair). ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Christine Joblin (co-chair). IRAP, Univ. Paul Sabatier/CNRS, Toulouse, France
Isabel Tanarro. IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Jose Angel Martín Gago. ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Karine Demyk. IRAP, Univ. Paul Sabatier/CNRS, Toulouse, France
Jean-Hugues Fillion. LERMA, UPCM Univ.  Paris 06, & Obs. Paris, France
Maria Elisabetta Palumbo. INAF-Catania Astrophysical Obs., Italy
André Canosa. IPR, Univ. Rennes 1/CNRS, France
Harold Linnartz. Leiden Obs., Univ. of Leiden, The Netherlands
Liv Hornekaer. iNANO, Aarhus Univ., Danemark
Peter Sarre. School of Chemistry, Nottingham Univ., UK
Stephan Schlemmer. Phys. Inst., Univ. Koln, Germany
Jonathan Tennyson. Univ. College London, UK
Yves Marrochi. CRPG-CNRS, Nancy, France
Guillermo Muñoz Caro. CAB, INTA-CSIC, Madrid, Spain

LOC composition
Isabel Tanarro (Chair). IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Belén Maté. IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Víctor J. Herrero. IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
José Luis Doménech. IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Ángel González-Valdenebro. IEM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Marcelo Castellanos (co-chair). ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Belén Tercero.  ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Juan Ramón Pardo. ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Juan Antonio Corbalán. ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain
Natalia Ruiz-Zelmanovich. ICMM-CSIC, Madrid, Spain