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RE: Interstellar clouds
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Title: Clouds, Clumps, Cores & Comets - a Cosmic Chemical Connection?
Authors: S. B. Charnley, S. D. Rodgers (NASA Ames)

We discuss the connection between the chemistry of dense interstellar clouds and those characteristics of cometary matter that could be remnants of it. The chemical evolution observed to occur in molecular clouds is summarised and a model for dense core collapse that can plausibly account for the isotopic fractionation of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon measured in primitive solar system materials is presented.

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Astronomers have measured the distribution of mass inside a dark filament in a molecular cloud with an amazing level of detail and to great depth. The measurement is based on a new method that looks at the scattered near-infrared light or 'cloudshine' and was made with ESO's New Technology Telescope. Associated with the forthcoming VISTA telescope, this new technique will allow astronomers to better understand the cradles of newborn stars.

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