Hydrogen cyanide in nitrogen-rich atmospheres of rocky exoplanets

  title={Hydrogen cyanide in nitrogen-rich atmospheres of rocky exoplanets},
  author={Paul B. Rimmer and Sarah Rugheimer},
Abstract Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a key feedstock molecule for the production of life's building blocks. The formation of HCN in an N2-rich atmospheres requires first that the triple bond between N≡N be severed, and then that the atomic nitrogen find a carbon atom. These two tasks can be accomplished via photochemistry, lightning, impacts, or volcanism. The key requirements for producing appreciable amounts of HCN are the free availability of N2 and a local carbon to oxygen ratio of C/O ≥ 1… 

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