Molecules can exist in a range of environments, from the extremely cold regions between stars to the atmospheres of stars themselves.

To date, something over 120 molecular species have been tentatively or definitively identified in interstellar or circumstellar clouds, while over 60 have been identified in studies of comets in our solar system. Numerous isotopomers have also been observed.

Some detections reported on these pages may be controversial, but all are taken from the peer-reviewed astronomical literature. A questionable identification may be removed at a later date if circumstances warrant.

J. Crovisier has amassed a comprehensive compilation of species observed to date in the interstellar medium, in comets, or in non-terrestrial planetary atmospheres, plus additional ones which may prove to be found.

Molecules in Interstellar & Circumstellar Media

Molecules in Comets

Molecules in Brown Dwarfs and Stellar Atmospheres


Maintained by DE Woon Sponsored by Molecular Research Institute Updated 31 December 2004