Renaissance of Astro-Chemistry in Indian Context
Astrochemistry is a relatively new branch in Astrophysics. In the Indian context, some Astrochemistry related work is going on in some isolated pockets however, a visible community is still lacking. The Astrochemistry and Astrobiology department of Indian Centre for Space Physics (ICSP) has started this subject from the scratch and it is thus no surprise that ICSP has produced several scientists who are already well recognized worldwide. Manpower generated by this department of ICSP is enriching the Astrochemical community not only in the Indian context but also internationally. There were several attempts to study the presence of pre-biotic species in the ISM, however, they are yet to be identified with complete assurance. In this review, we explore the chemical evolution of interstellar pre-biotic molecules under various physical circumstances using various available tools. Our simulation suggests that even if the abundances of these pre-biotic species is not in the observed range it is better to look for their precursors which are equally relevant for inferring abundances of these pre-biotic species in the ISM. Physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium (ISM) are inter-related and thus interstellar species are very often used for the measurement of physical properties. Despite the lower elemental abundance of atomic deuterium, a high degree of deuterium fractionation is seen in the ISM. In our study, we used deuterium fractionation ratio of some interstellar ions as a tool in correlating the ionization degree of the ISM. Moreover, we performed quantum chemical calculations to find out spectral properties of the pre-biotic and deuterated species along with their precursors and performed radiative transfer modeling to predict various line parameters relevant for their future astronomical identification.
I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Sandip K. Chakrabarti who had introduced me to this fascinating realm of astrophysics. I would also like to acknowledge the support of my two ISRO respond projects (Grant No. ISRO/RES/2/372/11-12 and ISRO/RES/2/402/16-17) and one DST project (Grant No. SB/S2/HEP-21/2013) and Government of West Bengal for the financial support.
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