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Molecular Astrophysics

Our research is focused on molecular astrophysics and the chemistry of interstellar space. The extreme conditions of interstellar clouds - with temperatures down to 10K combined with very low particle densities - are adverse for typical chemical reactions as they happen under terrestrial conditions. Nevertheless, about ~200 different molecular species have been identified in space, and this number continues to grow. The key to an active chemical network in the gas phase of outer space are processes that are initiated by molecular ions.

The ASTROLAB group aims to study key processes of interstellar chemistry in the laboratory, like the formation and destruction of the first molecules in space, or the gas phase formation of water. Our experiments are centered around the Cyrogenic Storage Ring (CSR) at MPIK. This unique facility allows for the study of astrophysical processes under true interstellar conditions.

News

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Chemistry of the cosmological dark ages studied in the lab

New measurements imply dramatically higher abundance of helium hydride ions in the early universe

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Schnelle Wasserbildung in diffusen interstellaren Wolken

Zwei wichtige Schritte in der Bildung von gasförmigem Wasser in diffusen interstellaren Wolken verlaufen schneller als bisher vermutet. Dies ist das…

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Molekülionen unter Weltraumbedingungen eingefroren

Laborastrophysik mit Anionen im ultrakalten Speicherring CSR

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