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31st of January 2019
Parkes contributions to astro-chemistry
In a recent review, McGuire notes that 204 individual molecular species, comprised of 16 different elements, have been detected in the interstellar and circumstellar medium by astronomical observations. These molecules range in size from two atoms to seventy, and have been detected across the electromagnetic spectrum from cm-wavelengths to the ultraviolet. McGuire's paper presents a summary of the first detection of each molecular species, including the observational facility, wavelength range, transitions, and enabling laboratory spectroscopic work. The Parkes telescope has played a role in the discovery of several astromolecules, and the image above is of one of these - thioformaldehyde (H2CS). The yellow sphere represents the sulphur atom, the grey sphere, carbon, and the white(ish) spheres, hydrogen. The website www.astrochymist.org has previously featured thioformaldeyde as its Astromolecule of the month. (Image credit: www.astrochymist.org)

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