Vianney Taquet


AstroFIt 2 – COFUND fellow since May 1, 2017

Project ended April 30, 2020

INAF Research Centre: Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Email: vianney.taquet at

Curriculum vitae



Project title: PROSPECTS – PRebiotic mOlecules from SPacE to ComeTS


The Rosetta space probe recently detected in the comet 67P/C-G many complex molecules, including the simple amino-acid glycine, relevant for the prebiotic chemistry. These measurements suggest that prebiotic species were already formed at the end of the solar nebula, the protoplanetary disk at the origin of our Solar System. Young low-mass protostars are known to be chemically rich, with the detection of a dozen of interstellar complex organic molecules (COMs). However, it is still unknown whether larger potentially prebiotic molecules, such as glycine, can be formed around young protostars and whether these COMs can survive in the solar nebula. I propose a theoretical project that aims to understand the formation and the evolution of interstellar COMs at the origin of the prebiotic chemistry in the inner regions surrounding young low-mass protostars. To this mean, I will use my state-of-the-art astrochemical model GRAINOBLE to investigate the formation and the destruction of COMs both at the surface of interstellar grains and in the gas phase. I will first introduce new chemical pathways following experimental results but never introduced in interstellar kinetic databases so far. I will then apply GRAINOBLE to two state-of-the-art existing physical models of core contraction forming a two-dimensional disk and of accretion shock to follow the chemical evolution from dark cloud to forming disk. The theoretical predictions will be used to interpret the observations carried out with the new generation sub-mm interferometers, such as NOEMA and ALMA, to assess whether cometary prebiotic molecules can be formed around protostars and survive until the end of the solar nebula and therefore whether they have an interstellar origin. The Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (OAA) is the ideal place to develop the proposed project, as it hosts one of the largest star formation group in Italy and offers strong expertise in (sub-)mm interferometry.

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