Cyanomethanimine was recently detected in Sagittarius B2, an interstellar cloud known for its rich chemistry. Cyanomethanimine is a proposed intermediate in the interstellar synthesis of adenine. Adenine is crucial in the formation and maintenance of living systems due to its role as a major component in DNA/RNA. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to obtain tangible chemical samples from Sagittarius B2, the interstellar cloud where cyanomethanimine resides, because it is too distant from the Earth. Furthermore, the best method for studying interstellar molecules for now is computer modelling. The objective of the project is to determine the abundance of cyanomethanimine in Sagittarius B2 through the utilization of computer modelling. The computer simulation uses a reaction network, several controlled parameters, and large differential equations to calculate the fractional abundances of molecules relative to hydrogen. Once the simulation was conducted, it was found that the peak fractional abundance of cyanomethanimine in Sagittarius B2 is 1.28 x 10-13. More simulations will be needed to elucidate interstellar cyanomethanimine’s behavior in regard to varying temperatures and densities.
Semester/Year of Award
Department of Chemistry
Open Access Thesis
Webb, Matthew T., "Chemical Simulations of Cyanomethanimine in Interstellar Medium" (2017). Honors Theses. 489.