Astrophysics (index)about

methane

(CH4)
(compound of one carbon and 4 hydrogen atoms)

Methane (CH4) is a compound with molecules each consisting of one carbon and four hydrogens atoms. It is produced by biological processes on Earth, and is generally unstable, thus constituting a biosignature. It can be generated abiotically, but its observed presence suggests some long-lasting process is generating it. It is observed on some solar system moons.

If the molecule contains a deuterium atom, in which case the molecule can be referred to as deuterated methane or CH3D, then methods of tracing isotopes (e.g., detecting the differences in spectra and mass) can be used to detect details of chemical reactions. This has been done using spectrography of Titan's atmosphere with Keck Observatory.


(compound,hydrogen,carbon,chemistry)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane

Referenced by:
biosignature
brown dwarf (BD)
clathrate
comet
cryovolcano
fractionation factor
giant planet
humidity
hydrocarbon (HC)
hydrology
neutron scattering
snow line
T-type star (T)
Titan
volatile material

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