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Study of phosphorus-bearing compounds in comets and a complete course in astrobiology

Grant number: 15/03176-8
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: September 01, 2015 - August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy
Principal Investigator:Amaury Augusto de Almeida
Grantee:Amaury Augusto de Almeida
Visiting researcher: Daniel Craig Boice
Visiting researcher institution: Trinity University, United States
Home Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In order to continue our successful collaboration in cometary science that was begun during the visit (1993) of Amaury de Almeida to Southwest Research Institute (SwRI in San Antonio, Texas), we propose to conduct the first quantitative study of phosphorus-bearing molecules in comets to identify likely species containing phosphorus to aid in future searches for this important biogenic element in comets, possibly shedding light on issues of comet formation (time and place) and matters of prebiotic to biotic evolution of life. This work is especially timely with the arrival of ESA's Rosetta Mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko that has the ability to make in situ measurements to test our theoretical studies. It is our intentions to present and later publish the results of this work for the Second COSPAR Symposium on Water and Life in the Universe to be held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, 9-13 November 2015. Dr. Boice has expressed interest in an extended visit to IAG/USP of up to one year to interact with graduate students and teach a complete graduate course in Astrobiology, to continue our collaboration at USP. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE ALMEIDA, AMAURY A.; BOICE, DANIEL C.; PICAZZIO, ENOS; HUEBNER, WALTER F. Water outburst activity in Comet 17P/Holmes. Advances in Space Research, v. 58, n. 3, p. 444-452, AUG 1 2016. Web of Science Citations: 2.

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