Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • William IrvineEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5321-1


Molecules Interstellar 


Chemical Formula



Acetamide is an organic molecule with potential astrobiological significance, since it includes an amide bond, –NHCO–, which makes it potentially a marker of hydrolytic activity. Acetamide has been detected in the interstellar medium in the Galactic Center molecular cloud SgrB2, in carbonaceous chondrites (e.g., Halfen et al. 2011), and also apparently in the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by the Philae lander as part of the Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (Goesmann et al. 2015).


References and Further Reading

  1. Goesmann F, Rosenbauer H, Bredehöft JH, Cabane M, Ehrenfreund P, Gautier T, Giri C, Krüger H, Le Roy L, MacDermott AJ, McKenna-Lawlor S, Meierhenrich UJ, Muñoz Caro GM, Raulin F, Roll R, Steele A, Steininger H, Sternberg R, Szopa C, Thiemann W, Ulamac S (2015) Organic compounds on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko revealed by COSAC mass spectrometry. Science 349(6247).  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aab0689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Halfen DT, Ilyushin VV, Ziurys LM (2011) Formation of peptide bonds in space. Astrophys J 743:60–72ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA