Circumstellar chemistry from microwave and mm-wave spectroscopy

J. H. Bieging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stars in their late stages of evolution often shed matter in the form of a cool wind which is molecular in composition. These winds are a major source of replenishment of the interstellar gas and dust, so they furnish a large part of the raw materials for new generations of stars and planets. The chemistry of the circumstellar envelope depends strongly on the photospheric abundances of the elements, especially C and O. If C/O > 1, a rich organic chemistry is observable in the microwave and mm-wavelength emission lines of the reaction products. This paper reviews the observational evidence for the presence of organic molecules and their formation pathways in circumstellar envelopes, with special emphasis on rotational spectra at microwave and millimeter wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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