The hunt for interstellar phosphorus, the forgotten pre-biotic element

Francesco Fontani, Victor M. Rivilla, Chiara Mininni


Phosphorus is a crucial element for the development of life as we know it, but because of its low cosmic abundance, until recently its interstellar chemistry was almost totally unknown. Since 2016, the star formation group at Arcetri has made a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the astrochemical processes that involve this element in the star-forming regions of the Galaxy, paving the way for a growing number of studies on this pre-biotic element that had been “forgotten” up to now.

Full Text:



Firenze University Press
Borgo Albizi, 28 - 50122 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712