Sample records for comets carbonaceous meteorites

  1. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    Evidence for indigenous microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm of the endogenous origin of life on Earth should be reconsidered. It is now widely accepted that comets and carbonaceous meteorites played an important role in the delivery of water, organics and life critical biogenic elements to the early Earth and facilitated the origin and evolution of the Earth's Biosphere. However; the detection of embedded microfossils and mats in carbonaceous meteorites implies that comets and meteorites may have played a direct role in the delivery of intact microorganisms and that the Biosphere may extend far into the Cosmos. Recent space observations have found the nuclei of comets to have very low albedos (approx.0.03) and. these jet-black surfaces become very hot (T approx. 400 K) near perihelion. This paper reviews recent observational data-on comets and suggests that liquid water pools could exist in cavities and fissures between the internal ices and rocks and the exterior carbonaceous crust. The presence of light and liquid water near the surface of the nucleus enhances the possibility that comets could harbor prokaryotic extremophiles (e.g., cyanobacteria) capable of growth over a wide range of temperatures. The hypothesis that comets are the parent bodies of the CI1 and the CM2 carbonaceous meteorites is advanced. Electron microscopy images will be presented showing forms interpreted as indigenous-microfossils embedded' in freshly. fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil (CI1) and Murchison (CM2) meteorites. These forms are consistent in size and morphologies with known morphotypes of all five orders of Cyanobacteriaceae: Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) elemental data shows that the meteoritic forms have anomalous C/O; C/N; and C/S as compared with modern extremophiles and cyanobacteria. These images and spectral data indicate that the clearly biogenic and embedded remains cannot be interpreted as recent biological

  2. Isotopically Anomalous Carbonaceous Nanoglobules in Meteorites and Comets (United States)

    de Gregorio, B. T.; Alexander, C.; Bassim, N. D.; Cody, G. D.; Kilcoyne, D.; Nittler, L.; Stroud, R.; Zega, T. J.


    Sub-micron, spherical, organic globules are prevalent in primitive meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. Many of these globules are significantly enriched in 15N and/or D, relative to solar values, which suggest that they or their precursors formed in cold regions of the solar nebula or in interstellar molecular clouds. We have used correlated transmission electron microscopy (TEM), synchrotron-based X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (XANES), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to determine the elemental and isotopic composition and organic functional group chemistry of individual carbonaceous nanoglobules in a suite of insoluble organic matter (IOM) residues prepared from carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites, and two additional organic globules from the Stardust comet 81P/Wild 2 sample collection. The majority of the meteoritic nanoglobules have a similar chemistry to the bulk IOM, with, on average, a small but significant enrichment in aromatic ketone (-C=O) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups. However, some of the meteoritic nanoglobules and one of the Stardust nanoglobules contain highly aromatic organic matter with no significant oxygen functionality. Preliminary measurements indicate that the highest 15N enrichments are associated with the highly aromatic nanoglobules and that aromatic nanoglobules are more prevalent in IOM from more primitive meteorites (e.g. Bells contains more aromatic globules than Murchison). For example, of two adjacent nanoglobules with nearly identical hollow morphologies from Murchison, one contains highly aromatic organic matter and the other contains oxidized IOM-like organic matter. SIMS analysis of these two globules reveals that the highly aromatic globule has the greatest 15N enrichment (δ15N ~ +500‰) of all meteoritic globules in which both XANES and SIMS was performed, whereas the adjacent IOM-like globule has a smaller 15N enrichment (δ15N ~ +300‰) but still greater than bulk IOM (δ15

  3. Comets as parent bodies of CI1 carbonaceous meteorites and possible habitats of ice-microbes (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wickramasinghe, Janaki T.; Wallis, Jamie; Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.


    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth's atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  4. Comets as Parent Bodies of CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites and Possible Habitats of Ice-Microbiota (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wallis, Daryl H.; Rozanov, Alexei Yu.; Hoover, Richard B.


    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth s atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  5. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T


    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  6. Organic Chemistry of Carbonaceous Meteorites (United States)

    Cronin, John R.


    Chiral and carbon-isotopic analyses of isovaline have been carried out on numerous samples of the Murchison and one sample of the Murray carbonaceous chondrite. The isovaline was found to be heterogeneous with regard to enantiomeric excess (ee) both between samples and within a single Murchison sample. L-Excesses ranging from 0 to 15% were observed. The isovaline delta(sup 13) C was found to be about +18%. No evidence was obtained suggesting terrestrial contamination in the more abundant L-enantiomer. A correlation was observed between isovaline (also alpha - aminoisobutyric acid) concentration and PCP content of five CM chondrites. It is suggested that isovaline, along with other meteoritic a-methyl amino acids with ee, are of presolar origin. The possible formation of ee in extraterrestrial amino acids by exposure to circularly polarized light or by magnetochiral photochemistry is discussed. Key words: Murchison meteorite, Murray meteorite, amino acids, isovaline, chirality, carbon isotopes, PCP.

  7. Carbonaceous Components in the Comet Halley Dust (United States)

    Fomenkova, M. N.; Chang, S.; Mukhin, L. M.


    Cometary grains containing large amounts of carbon and/or organic matter (CHON) were discovered by in situ measurements of comet Halley dust composition during VEGA and GIOTTO flyby missions. In this paper, we report the classification of these cometary, grains by means of cluster analysis, discuss the resulting compositional groups, and compare them with substances observed or hypothesized in meteorites, interplanetary dust particles, and the interstellar medium. Grains dominated by carbon and/or organic matter (CHON grains) represent approx. 22% of the total population of measured cometary dust particles. They, usually contain a minor abundance of rock-forming elements as well. Grains having organic material are relatively more abundant in the vicinity of the nucleus than in the outer regions of the coma, which suggests decomposition of the organics in the coma environment. The majority of comet Halley organic particles are multicomponent mixtures of carbon phases and organic compounds. Possibly, the cometary CHON grains may be related to kerogen material of an interstellar origin in carbonaceous meteorites. Pure carbon grains, hydrocarbons and polymers of cyanopolyynes, and multi-carbon monoxides are present in cometary dust as compositionally simple and distinctive components among a variety of others. There is no clear evidence of significant presence of pure formaldehyde or HCN polymers in Halley dust particles. The diversity of types of cometary organic compounds is consistent with the inter-stellar dust model of comets and probably reflects differences in composition of precursor dust. Preservation of this heterogeneity among submicron particles suggest the gentle formation of cometary, nucleus by aggregation of interstellar dust in the protosolar nebula without complete mixing or chemical homogenization at the submicron level.

  8. The Distinct Genetics of Carbonaceous and Non-Carbonaceous Meteorites Inferred from Molybdenum Isotopes (United States)

    Budde, G.; Burkhardt, C.; Kleine, T.


    Mo isotope systematics manifest a fundamental dichotomy in the genetic heritage of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous meteorites. We discuss its implications in light of the most recent literature data and new isotope data for primitive achondrites.

  9. Comet and meteorite traditions of Aboriginal Australians (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.


    This research contributes to the disciplines of cultural astronomy (the academic study of how past and present cultures understand and utilise celestial objects and phenomena) and geomythology (the study of geological events and the formation of geological features described in oral traditions). Of the hundreds of distinct Aboriginal cultures of Australia, many have oral traditions rich in descriptions and explanations of comets, meteors, meteorites, airbursts, impact events, and impact craters. These views generally attribute these phenomena to spirits, death, and bad omens. There are also many traditions that describe the formation of meteorite craters as well as impact events that are not known to Western science.

  10. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    photoautotrophs and chemolithotrophs such as the motile filamentous cyanobacteria (e.g., Calothrix, Oscillatoria, Phormidium, and Spirulina) that grow in geothermal springs and geysers of Earth at temperatures ranging fiom 320K to 345K and are also found growing in cold polar desert soils. The mineralized remains of morphotypes of all of these cyanobacteria have also been found in the Orgueil CI1 and the Murchison CN2 carbonaceous meteorites that may derive from cometary parent bodies. Observational results that support the hypothesis that liquid water can in active regions just beneath the surface of comets and that comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and asteroids may have played a significant role in the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and in the distribution of microbial life throughout the Solar System.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aleon, Jerome


    Isotopic fractionation and mixing calculations compared with coupled hydrogen and nitrogen isotopic composition of organic molecules from primitive chondrites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), and comets C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) and 81P/Wild2 reveal that meteoritic and cometary organic matter contains three different isotopic components of different origins. (1) A major component of carbonaceous chondrites, IDPs, and comets Hale-Bopp and Wild2 shows correlated H and N isotopic compositions attributable to isotope exchange between an organic matter of solar composition and a reservoir formed by ion-molecule reactions at T 15 N-rich component having identical 15 N and D enrichments relative to the protosolar gas. Temperatures > 100 K deduced from the low D/H ratio and an anti-correlation between the abundance of this component and meteoritic age indicate a late origin in the solar protoplanetary disk. N 2 self-shielding and the non-thermal nucleosynthesis of 15 N upon irradiation are possible but unlikely sources of this component, and a chemical origin is preferred. (3) An interstellar component with highly fractionated hydrogen isotopes and unfractionated nitrogen isotopes is present in ordinary chondrites. A dominantly solar origin of D and 15 N excesses in primitive solar system bodies shows that isotopic anomalies do not necessarily fingerprint an interstellar origin and implies that only a very small fraction of volatile interstellar matter survived the events of solar system formation.

  12. Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite (United States)

    Clemett, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Rahman, Z.; Le, L.; Wentworth, S. J.; Gibson, E. K.; McKay, D. S.


    Detailed microanalysis of the Martian meteorite Nakhla has shown there are morphologically distinct carbonaceous features spatially associated with low-T aqueous alteration phases including salts and id-dingsite. A comprehensive suite of analytical instrumentation including optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), two-step laser mass spectrometry (mu-L(sup 2)MS), laser mu-Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) are being used to characterize the carbonaceous matter and host mineralogy. The search for carbonaceous matter on Mars has proved challenging. Viking Landers failed to unambiguously detect simple organics at either of the two landing sites although the Martian surface is estimated to have acquired at least 10(exp15) kg of C as a consequence of meteoritic accretion over the last several Ga. The dearth of organics at the Martian surface has been attributed to various oxidative processes including UV photolysis and peroxide activity. Consequently, investigations of Martian organics need to be focused on the sub-surface regolith where such surface processes are either severely attenuated or absent. Fortuitously since Martian meteorites are derived from buried regolith materials they provide a unique opportunity to study Martian organic geochemistry.

  13. Radar-Enabled Recovery of the Sutters Mill Meteorite, a Carbonaceous Chondrite Regolith Breccia (United States)

    Jenniskens, Petrus M.; Fries, Marc D.; Yin, Qing-Zhu; Zolensky, Michael E.; Krot, Alexander N.; Sandford, Scott A.; Sears, Derek; Beauford, Robert; Ebel, Denton S.; Friedrich, Jon M.; hide


    Doppler weather radar imaging enabled the rapid recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite after a rare 4-kiloton of TNT-equivalent asteroid impact over the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. The recovered meteorites survived a record high-speed entry of 28.6 kilometers per second from an orbit close to that of Jupiter-family comets (Tisserand's parameter = 2.8 +/- 0.3). Sutter's Mill is a regolith breccia composed of CM (Mighei)-type carbonaceous chondrite and highly reduced xenolithic materials. It exhibits considerable diversity of mineralogy, petrography, and isotope and organic chemistry, resulting from a complex formation history of the parent body surface. That diversity is quickly masked by alteration once in the terrestrial environment but will need to be considered when samples returned by missions to C-class asteroids are interpreted.

  14. Thermal alteration in carbonaceous chondrites and implications for sublimation in rock comets (United States)

    Springmann, Alessondra; Lauretta, Dante S.; Steckloff, Jordan K.


    Rock comets are small solar system bodies in Sun-skirting orbits (perihelion q CO2, etc.). B-class asteroid (3200) Phaethon, considered to be the parent body of the Geminid meteor shower, is the only rock comet currently known to periodically eject dust and form a coma. Thermal fracturing or thermal decomposition of surface materials may be driving Phaethon’s cometary activity (Li & Jewitt, 2013). Phaethon-like asteroids have dynamically unstable orbits, and their perihelia can change rapidly over their ~10 Myr lifetimes (de León et al., 2010), raising the possibility that other asteroids may have been rock comets in the past. Here, we propose using spectroscopic observations of mercury (Hg) as a tracer of an asteroid’s thermal metamorphic history, and therefore as a constraint on its minimum achieved perihelion distance.B-class asteroids such as Phaethon have an initial composition similar to aqueously altered primitive meteorites such as CI- or CM-type meteorites (Clark et al., 2010). Laboratory heating experiments of ~mm sized samples of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites from 300K to 1200K at a rate of 15K/minute show mobilization and volatilization of various labile elements at temperatures that could be reached by Mercury-crossing asteroids. Samples became rapidly depleted in labile elements and, in particular, lost ~75% of their Hg content when heated from ~500-700 K, which corresponds to heliocentric distances of ~0.15-0.3 au, consistent with our thermal models. Mercury has strong emission lines in the UV (~ 185 nm) and thus its presence (or absence) relative to carbonaceous chondrite abundances would indicate if these bodies had perihelia in their dynamical histories inside of 0.15 AU, and therefore may have previously been Phaethon-like rock comets. Future space telescopes or balloon-borne observing platforms equipped with a UV spectrometer could potentially detect the presence or absence of strong ultraviolet mercury lines on rock comets or rock

  15. Mineralized remains of morphotypes of filamentous cyanobacteria in carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    The quest for conclusive evidence of microfossils in meteorites has been elusive. Abiotic microstructures, mineral grains, and even coating artifacts may mimic unicellular bacteria, archaea and nanobacteria with simple spherical or rod morphologies (i.e., cocci, diplococci, bacilli, etc.). This is not the case for the larger and more complex microorganisms, colonies and microbial consortia and ecosystems. Microfossils of algae, cyanobacteria, and cyanobacterial and microbial mats have been recognized and described from many of the most ancient rocks on Earth. The filamentous cyanobacteria and sulphur-bacteria have very distinctive size ranges, complex and recognizable morphologies and visibly differentiated cellular microstructures. The taphonomic modes of fossilization and the life habits and processes of these microorganisms often result in distinctive chemical biosignatures associated with carbonization, silicification, calcification, phosphatization and metal-binding properties of their cell-walls, trichomes, sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Valid biogenicity is provided by the combination of a suite of known biogenic elements (that differ from the meteorite matrix) found in direct association with recognizable and distinct biological features and microstructures (e.g., uniseriate or multiseriate filaments, trichomes, sheaths and cells of proper size/size range); specialized cells (e.g., basal or apical cells, hormogonia, akinetes, and heterocysts); and evidence of growth characteristics (e.g., spiral filaments, robust or thin sheaths, laminated sheaths, true or false branching of trichomes, tapered or uniform filaments) and evidence of locomotion (e.g. emergent cells and trichomes, coiling hormogonia, and hollow or flattened and twisted sheaths). Since 1997 we have conducted Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM and FESEM) studies of freshly fractured interior surfaces of carbonaceous meteorites, terrestrial

  16. Carbonaceous materials in the acid residue from the Orgueil carbonaceous chondrite meteorite (United States)

    Garvie, Laurence A. J.; Buseck, Peter R.


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) dominates the HF/HCl residue of the Orgueil (CI) carbonaceous chondrite meteorite. The IOM is composed primarily of two C-rich particle types. The first has a fluffy texture similar to crumpled tissue paper, and the second type occurs as solid or hollow nanospheres. High-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) images of the fluffy material show it is poorly ordered, with small, irregularly shaped regions having fringes with 0.34-0.38 nm spacings and locally 0.21 nm cross-fringes. Nanodiamonds occur in the fluffy material. The rounded C-rich particles are common in the residue and their HRTEM images show neither fringes nor nanodiamonds. Both types of carbonaceous materials have a high aromatic component, as revealed by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), with up to 10 at% substitution by S, N, and O. The average compositions of the fluffy material and nanospheres are C100S1.9N3.7O4.9 and C100S2.4N5.0O3.9, respectively. The structural and chemical heterogeneity of the carbonaceous materials may represent material from multiple sources.

  17. Meteorites, Bolides and Comets: A Tale of Inconsistency (United States)

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.


    -Tuttle, and Leo Minorids to 1739 Zanotti. Geminids were related to asteroid 3200 Phaeton, considered to be an "extinct comet." Spurny [9], using ablation coefficient and penetration depth criteria, found that Geminids (frequently) and Taurids (rarely) contain bolides of types I and II. This may indicate that meteoric showers from "comets" on AAA orbits contain some portion of "rocky" material comparable to chondrites. These observations revive Opik's (1963) idea that comets may be captured in the asteroid belt on AAA orbits and may contain (and supply) chondritic meteorites to the Earth [10]. If the relationship among large solid particles "native to the asteroid belt" and those from the outer solar system can be established, they can be scaled and applied to IDPs. We have studied the records of 292 bolides (Prairie and European networks) with measured terminal velocities. We attempt to use the terminal velocity, calculated density, estimated terminal mass, and mechanical strength to correlate features with the meteorite features. We compare the meteorite fall frequency [11] with the bolide features. Two extreme hypotheses (Table 1) are examined: (A) bolides of types IIIa and IIIb do not have equivalents among the meteorites and (B) all four bolide types have meteoritic equivalents, and only IDPs do not produce bolides (fireballs). If the entry parameters of meteoroids are similar, bodies with lower density should reach terminal velocity at higher altitudes than those with higher density. If it is assumed that fragmentation is the same for dense (I and II) and less dense bodies (IIIa and IIIb), the calculated terminal altitudes show that among the bolides exist materials with lower densities than those of recovered meteorites and that model A of the correlation between meteorite falls and bolide observations is likely [12]. If, however, the less dense bodies were more easily fragmented than denser bodies, the correlation is better for hypothesis B. Table 1, which in the hard

  18. Molybdenum isotopic evidence for the origin of chondrules and a distinct genetic heritage of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Budde, Gerrit; Burkhardt, Christoph; Brennecka, Gregory A.; Fischer-Gödde, Mario; Kruijer, Thomas S.; Kleine, Thorsten


    Nucleosynthetic isotope anomalies are powerful tracers to determine the provenance of meteorites and their components, and to identify genetic links between these materials. Here we show that chondrules and matrix separated from the Allende CV3 chondrite have complementary nucleosynthetic Mo isotope anomalies. These anomalies result from the enrichment of a presolar carrier enriched in s-process Mo into the matrix, and the corresponding depletion of this carrier in the chondrules. This carrier most likely is a metal and so the uneven distribution of presolar material probably results from metal-silicate fractionation during chondrule formation. The Mo isotope anomalies correlate with those reported for W isotopes on the same samples in an earlier study, suggesting that the isotope variations for both Mo and W are caused by the heterogeneous distribution of the same carrier. The isotopic complementary of chondrules and matrix indicates that both components are genetically linked and formed together from one common reservoir of solar nebula dust. As such, the isotopic data require that most chondrules formed in the solar nebula and are not a product of protoplanetary impacts. Allende chondrules and matrix together with bulk carbonaceous chondrites and some iron meteorites (groups IID, IIIF, and IVB) show uniform excesses in 92Mo, 95Mo, and 97Mo that result from the addition of supernova material to the solar nebula region in which these carbonaceous meteorites formed. Non-carbonaceous meteorites (enstatite and ordinary chondrites as well as most iron meteorites) do not contain this material, demonstrating that two distinct Mo isotope reservoirs co-existed in the early solar nebula that remained spatially separated for several million years. This separation was most likely achieved through the formation of the gas giants, which cleared the disk between the inner and outer solar system regions parental to the non-carbonaceous and carbonaceous meteorites. The Mo isotope

  19. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites. (United States)

    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C


    Biological polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are constructed of only one-the d or l-of the two possible nonsuperimposable mirror images (enantiomers) of selected organic compounds. However, before the advent of life, it is generally assumed that chemical reactions produced 50:50 (racemic) mixtures of enantiomers, as evidenced by common abiotic laboratory syntheses. Carbonaceous meteorites contain clues to prebiotic chemistry because they preserve a record of some of the Solar System's earliest (∼4.5 Gy) chemical and physical processes. In multiple carbonaceous meteorites, we show that both rare and common sugar monoacids (aldonic acids) contain significant excesses of the d enantiomer, whereas other (comparable) sugar acids and sugar alcohols are racemic. Although the proposed origins of such excesses are still tentative, the findings imply that meteoritic compounds and/or the processes that operated on meteoritic precursors may have played an ancient role in the enantiomer composition of life's carbohydrate-related biopolymers.

  20. Microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites: implications to the origin of life (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    Environmental and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM and FESEM) investigations have shown that a wide variety of carbonaceous meteorites contain the remains of large filaments embedded within freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorite rock matrix. The filaments occur singly or in dense assemblages and mats and are often encased within carbon-rich, electron transparent sheaths. Electron Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) spot analysis and 2D X-Ray maps indicate the filaments rarely have detectable nitrogen levels and exhibit elemental compositions consistent with that interpretation that of the meteorite rock matrix. Many of the meteorite filaments are exceptionally well-preserved and show evidence of cells, cell-wall constrictions and specialized cells and processes for reproduction, nitrogen fixation, attachment and motility. Morphological and morphometric analyses permit many of the filaments to be associated with morphotypes of known genera and species of known filamentous trichomic prokaryotes (cyanobacteria and sulfur bacteria). The presence in carbonaceous meteorites of diagenetic breakdown products of chlorophyll (pristane and phytane) along with indigenous and extraterrestrial chiral protein amino acids, nucleobases and other life-critical biomolecules provides strong support to the hypothesis that these filaments represent the remains of cyanobacteria and other microorganisms that grew on the meteorite parent body. The absence of other life-critical biomolecules in the meteorites and the lack of detectable levels of nitrogen indicate the filaments died long ago and can not possibly represent modern microbial contaminants that entered the stones after they arrived on Earth. This paper presents new evidence for microfossils, biomolecules and biominerals in carbonaceous meteorites and considers the implications to some of the major hypotheses for the Origin of Life.

  1. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites


    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C.


    The majority of biological sugars and their derivatives contain higher abundances of the “d” mirror-image forms relative to the “l” forms. For example, nucleic acids are composed of only d sugars. Carbonaceous meteorites can potentially assist in understanding the long-sought origin of such phenomena; They preserve a record of the earliest (∼4.5 Gy) chemical processes in the Solar System. To date, there have been no systematic studies of d/l (i.e., enantiomer) ratios of meteoritic sugar deriv...

  2. Dome C UltraCarbonaceous Antarctic MicroMeteorites Infrared and Raman fingerprints


    Dartois, E.; Engrand, C.; Duprat, J.; Godard, M.; Charon, E.; Delauche, L.; Sandt, C.; Borondics, F.


    UltraCarbonaceous Antarctic MicroMeteorites (UCAMMs) represent a small fraction of interplanetary dust particles reaching the Earth's surface and contain large amounts of an organic component not found elsewhere. They are most probably sampling a contribution from the outer regions of the solar system to the local interplanetary dust particle flux. We characterize UCAMMs composition focusing on the organic matter, and compare the results to the insoluble organic matter (IOM) from primitive me...

  3. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Cooper, George; Rios, Andro C.


    Biological polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are constructed of only one—the d or l—of the two possible nonsuperimposable mirror images (enantiomers) of selected organic compounds. However, before the advent of life, it is generally assumed that chemical reactions produced 50:50 (racemic) mixtures of enantiomers, as evidenced by common abiotic laboratory syntheses. Carbonaceous meteorites contain clues to prebiotic chemistry because they preserve a record of some of the Solar System’s earliest (˜4.5 Gy) chemical and physical processes. In multiple carbonaceous meteorites, we show that both rare and common sugar monoacids (aldonic acids) contain significant excesses of the d enantiomer, whereas other (comparable) sugar acids and sugar alcohols are racemic. Although the proposed origins of such excesses are still tentative, the findings imply that meteoritic compounds and/or the processes that operated on meteoritic precursors may have played an ancient role in the enantiomer composition of life’s carbohydrate-related biopolymers.

  4. A Meteorite Dropping Superbolide from the Catastrophycally Disrupted Comet C1919Q2 Metcalf: A Pathway for Meteorites from Jupiter Family Comets (United States)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Madiedo, J. M.; Williams, I. P.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Llorca, J.; Vítek, S.; Jelínek, M.


    A meter-sized meteoroid probably produced during the disintegration of comet C1919Q2 Metcalf was observed producing a -18 magn. bolide (MNRAS, in press).The progenitor meteoroid was sufficiently large and of high enough tensile strength to produce meteorites.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pizzarello, S.; Williams, L. B.


    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300°C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 μg mg –1 for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 μg mg –1 for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 μg mg –1 . While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the δ 15 N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original 15 N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

  6. Ammonia in the Early Solar System: An Account from Carbonaceous Meteorites (United States)

    Pizzarello, S.; Williams, L. B.


    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300°C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 μg mg-1 for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 μg mg-1 for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 μg mg-1. While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the δ15N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original 15N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, S. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604 (United States); Williams, L. B., E-mail: [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404 (United States)


    This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300 Degree-Sign C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 {mu}g mg{sup -1} for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 {mu}g mg{sup -1} for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 {mu}g mg{sup -1}. While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the {delta}{sup 15}N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original {sup 15}N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

  8. Molecular and isotope constraints on the formation of the insoluble organic matter of carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Derenne, Sylvie; Robert, François


    The origin of the insoluble organic matter (IOM) of the carbonaceous meteorites remains an unsolved issue despite major achievements in the knowledge of its chemical structure. The latter led us to propose a model for its molecular structure. Based on the relationship between the aromatic moieties of the macromolecular structure and their aliphatic linkages, it was recently suggested that, its synthesis has taken place in the gas phase of the disk surrounding the Sun in its early T-Tauri phase and that organic radicals have played a central role in this organo-synthesis. To test experimentally this pathway, we submitted short hydrocarbons (methane, pentane, octane) to a microwave plasma discharge so as to produce in situ CHx radicals. The black organic residue deposited contained both soluble and insoluble OM. The comparison at the molecular level between the thus synthesized IOM and that of meteorite led to strong similarities thus supporting the proposed pathway for its organo-synthesis. Moreover, in the meteorite IOM, systematic deuterium enrichment relative to the protosolar value is observed at the bulk sample scale and micrometer-sized grains exhibit dramatic enrichments in deuterium interpreted as a heritage of the interstellar medium or resulting from ion-molecule reactions taking place in the diffuse part of the solar disk. In the aforementioned synthesized IOM, NanoSIMS analyses revealed large variations at a sub-micrometric spatial resolution. They likely reflect the differences in the D/H ratios of the CHx radicals whose polymerization is at the origin of the IOM. These isotopic heterogeneities are commensurable with those observed in meteorite IOM. As a consequence, the appearance of organic radicals in the ionized regions of the T-Tauri solar disk may have triggered the formation of organic compounds. This laboratory synthesis thus shed a new light on the formation conditions and pathways of the IOM of carbonaceous chondrites.

  9. The chemical structure of the insoluble organic matter from carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Derenne, S.; Robert, F.


    Carbonaceous chondrites are the most primitive objects of the solar system. They contain substantial amounts of carbon (up to 3%), mostly occurring in macromolecular insoluble organic matter (IOM). This IOM is generally considered as a record of interstellar synthesis and may contain precursors of prebiotic molecules possibly deposited on earth by meteoritic bombardments. For these reasons, chondritic IOM has been raising interest for long and it is therefore of special interest to decipher its chemical structure. It is now well established that the chemical structure of this macromolecular material is based on aromatic moieties linked by short aliphatic chains and comprising substantial amounts of heteroatoms. However, its precise chemical structure could only be recently specified. The aim of this presentation is to propose a molecular model for the chemical structure of IOM isolated from non-metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrites. This model is derived from a large set of data obtained through a combination of techniques including various spectrocopies, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and chemical and thermal degradations. Cosmochemical implications of such a structure will also be discussed.

  10. Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites: the Chronicle of a Potential Evolutionary Path between Stars and Life. (United States)

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Shock, Everett


    The biogenic elements, H, C, N, O, P and S, have a long cosmic history, whose evolution can still be observed in diverse locales of the known universe, from interstellar clouds of gas and dust, to pre-stellar cores, nebulas, protoplanetary discs, planets and planetesimals. The best analytical window into this cosmochemical evolution as it neared Earth has been provided so far by the small bodies of the Solar System, some of which were not significantly altered by the high gravitational pressures and temperatures that accompanied the formation of larger planets and may carry a pristine record of early nebular chemistry. Asteroids have delivered such records, as their fragments reach the Earth frequently and become available for laboratory analyses. The Carbonaceous Chondrite meteorites (CC) are a group of such fragments with the further distinction of containing abundant organic materials with structures as diverse as kerogen-like macromolecules and simpler compounds with identical counterparts in Earth's biosphere. All have revealed a lineage to cosmochemical synthetic regimes. Several CC show that asteroids underwent aqueous alteration of their minerals or rock metamorphism but may yet yield clues to the reactivity of organic compounds during parent-body processes, on asteroids as well as larger ocean worlds and planets. Whether the exogenous delivery by meteorites held an advantage in Earth's molecular evolution remains an open question as many others regarding the origins of life are. Nonetheless, the natural samples of meteorites allow exploring the physical and chemical processes that might have led to a selected chemical pool amenable to the onset of life. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, Sandra, E-mail: [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85018-1604 (United States)


    Carbonaceous chondrites are meteorites that may contain abundant organic materials, including soluble compounds as diverse as amino acids and hydrocarbons. We report here the finding of hydrogen cyanide in the Murchison meteorite in amounts {<=} 10 ppm. HCN was never searched for in meteorites and its detection in sizeable amount is surprising in view of the extensive water phase that is recorded by the petrology of this type of meteorites and could have exhausted their HCN content through multiple reactions. The finding adds to the inventory of simple volatile molecules found in both comets and meteorites.

  12. Detection and formation scenario of citric acid, pyruvic acid, and other possible metabolism precursors in carbonaceous meteorites (United States)

    Cooper, George; Reed, Chris; Nguyen, Dang; Carter, Malika; Wang, Yi


    Carbonaceous meteorites deliver a variety of organic compounds to Earth that may have played a role in the origin and/or evolution of biochemical pathways. Some apparently ancient and critical metabolic processes require several compounds, some of which are relatively labile such as keto acids. Therefore, a prebiotic setting for any such individual process would have required either a continuous distant source for the entire suite of intact precursor molecules and/or an energetic and compact local synthesis, particularly of the more fragile members. To date, compounds such as pyruvic acid, oxaloacetic acid, citric acid, isocitric acid, and α-ketoglutaric acid (all members of the citric acid cycle) have not been identified in extraterrestrial sources or, as a group, as part of a “one pot” suite of compounds synthesized under plausibly prebiotic conditions. We have identified these compounds and others in carbonaceous meteorites and/or as low temperature (laboratory) reaction products of pyruvic acid. In meteorites, we observe many as part of three newly reported classes of compounds: keto acids (pyruvic acid and homologs), hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (citric acid and homologs), and tricarboxylic acids. Laboratory syntheses using 13C-labeled reactants demonstrate that one compound alone, pyruvic acid, can produce several (nonenzymatic) members of the citric acid cycle including oxaloacetic acid. The isotopic composition of some of the meteoritic keto acids points to interstellar or presolar origins, indicating that such compounds might also exist in other planetary systems. PMID:21825143

  13. Searching for Amino Acids in Meteorites and Comet Samples (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elsila


    Chemistry plays an important role in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology, which strives to understand the origin, distribution, and evolution of life throughout the universe. Chemical techniques are used to search for and characterize the basic ingredients for life, from the elements through simple molecules and up to the more complex compounds that may serve as the ingredients for life. The Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory at NASA Goddard uses state-of-the-art laboratory analytical instrumentation in unconventional ways to examine extraterrestrial materials and tackle some of the big questions in astrobiology. This talk will discuss some of the instrumentation and techniques used for these unique samples, as well as some of our most interesting results. The talk will present two areas of particular interest in our laboratory: (1) the search for chiral excesses in meteoritic amino acids, which may help to explain the origin of homochirality in life on Earth; and (2) the detection of amino acids and amines in material returned by NASA's Stardust mission, which rendevouzed with a cornet and brought back cometary particles to the Earth.

  14. Ultraviolet reflectance spectroscopy measurements of carbonaceous meteorites and planetary analog materials (United States)

    Hibbitts, Charles A.; Stockstill-Cahill, Karen; Takir, Driss


    The compositions of airless solar system objects tell us about the origin and evolutionary processes that are responsible for the current state of our solar system and that shape our environment. Spectral reflectance measurements in the ultraviolet are being used more frequently for providing compositional information of airless solid surfaces. Most minerals absorb in the UV making studying surface composition both informative but also challenging [e.g. 1]. The UV region is sensitive to atomic and molecular electronic absorptions such as the ligand-metal charge transfer band that is present in oxides and silicates and the conduction band at vacuum UV wavelengths. At the JHU-APL, bidirectional UV reflectance measurements are obtained under vacuum using a McPherson monochrometer with a PMT detector to achieve measurements over the range from ~ 140 nm to ~ 570 nm. Sample temperature can also be controlled from ~ 100K to ~ 600K, which enables the exploring the interaction of water ice and other volatiles with refractory samples. We have measured the UV spectra of many carbonaceous chondrites, including Mokoia, Vigarano, Warrenton, Orgueil, SaU290, and Essebi. In addition to being dark, some also possess on OMCT band. We have also obtained IR measurement of these meteorites to explore possible correlations between their UV and IR spectral signatures. In addition, we have also measured the UV spectra of low water content lunar analog glasses and have found a correlation between the spectral nature of the OMCT band and the abundance of iron [3]. Also, the spectral signature of mineralic and adsorbed water in the UV has been investigated. While water-ice has a known strong absorption feature near 180 nm (e.g. 4], adsorbed molecular and disassociatively adsorbed OH appear to not be optically active in this spectral region [5]. References: [1] Wagner et al. (1987) Icarus, 69, 14-28.1987; [2] Cloutis et al. (2008) Icarus, 197, 321-347; [3] Greenspon et al. (2012), 43rd LPSC

  15. Organic matter in primitive meteorites: a study of the hydrogen isotopic distribution in CM-type carbonaceous chondrites (United States)

    Piani, L.; Yurimoto, H.; Remusat, L.; Gonzales, A.; Marty, B.


    Chondrite meteorites are fragments of rocks coming from small bodies of the asteroid belt and constitute witnesses of the volatile-rich reservoirs present in the inner protoplanetary disk. Among these meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites contain the largest quantity of water and organic matter and are one of the most probable candidates for the delivery of water and molecular origin of life to Earth. Organic matter in carbonaceous chondrites is intimately mixed with hydrated minerals challenging its in situ characterization and the determination of its H-isotope composition (Le Guillou et al., GCA 131, 2014). Organic matter occurs as soluble components (in water or organic solvents) and an insoluble macromolecule. The insoluble organic matter (IOM) is efficiently isolated after acid leaching of the chondrite minerals. IOM has thus been investigated by a large set of analytical techniques allowing its structural organization, chemical composition and isotopic composition to be determined at several scales (e.g. Derenne and Robert, MAPS 45, 2010). In the soluble counterpart (SOM), targeted studies have shown large ranges of D/H ratios in the different classes of soluble organic compounds (i.e. carboxylic acids, ketones and aldehydes, amino-acids etc.) (Remusat, Planetary Mineralogy 15, 2015 and references therein). This D/H distribution indicates a complex and probably multiple-stage synthesis of this organic compounds occurring at different stages of the disk evolution. Nevertheless, inventories of the known C-bearing species in carbonaceous chondrites (carbonates, SOM and IOM) show that about 40-50 % of the carbon is hidden within the matrix (Alexander et al., MAPS 50, 2015). In this study, we perform in situ hydrogen isotope analyses at the micrometer scale by secondary ion mass spectrometry to investigate the distribution of organic matter in primitive chondrites without the use of any chemical treatment. Correlated analyses of the D/H and C/H ratios allow us to

  16. Nitrogen-Bearing, Indigenous Carbonaceous Matter in the Nakhla Mars Meteorite (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; Messenger, S.; Rahman, Z.; Gibson, E. K.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.


    We report the identification of discrete assemblages of nitrogen (N)-rich organic matter entrapped within interior fracture surfaces of the martian meteorite Nakhla. Based on context, composition and isotopic measurements this organic matter is of demonstrably martian origin. The presence of N-bearing organic species is of considerable importance to the habitable potential and chemical evolution of the martian regolith.




    第8回極域科学シンポジウム/個別セッション:[OA] 南極隕石12月5日(火)国立極地研究所 1階交流アトリウムThe Eighth Symposium on Polar Science/Ordinary sessions: [OA] Antarctic meteoritesTue. 5 Dec./Entrance Hall (1st floor), National Institute of Polar Research

  18. CW- and pulsed-EPR of carbonaceous matter in primitive meteorites: solving a lineshape paradox. (United States)

    Delpoux, Olivier; Gourier, Didier; Binet, Laurent; Vezin, Hervé; Derenne, Sylvie; Robert, François


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) of Orgueil and Tagish Lake meteorites are studied by CW-EPR and pulsed-EPR spectroscopies. The EPR line is due to polycyclic paramagnetic moieties concentrated in defect-rich regions of the IOM, with concentrations of the order of 4x10(19) spin/g. CW-EPR reveals two types of paramagnetic defects: centres with S=1/2, and centres with S=0 ground state and thermally accessible triple state S=1. In spite of the Lorentzian shape of the EPR and its narrowing upon increasing the spin concentration, the EPR line is not in the exchange narrowing regime as previously deduced from multi-frequency CW-EPR [L. Binet, D. Gourier, Appl. Magn. Reson. 30 (2006) 207-231]. It is inhomogeneously broadened as demonstrated by the presence of nuclear modulations in the spin-echo decay. The line narrowing, similar to an exchange narrowing effect, is the result of an increasing contribution of the narrow line of the triplet state centres in addition to the broader line of doublet states. Hyperfine sublevel correlation spectroscopy (HYSCORE) of hydrogen and (13)C nuclei indicates that IOM* centres are small polycyclic moieties that are moderately branched with aliphatic chains, as shown by the presence of aromatic hydrogen atoms. On the contrary the lack of such aromatic hydrogen in triplet states suggests that these radicals are most probably highly branched. Paramagnetic centres are considerably enriched in deuterium, with D/H approximately 1.5+/-0.5x10(-2) of the order of values existing in interstellar medium.

  19. CW- and pulsed-EPR of carbonaceous matter in primitive meteorites: Solving a lineshape paradox (United States)

    Delpoux, Olivier; Gourier, Didier; Binet, Laurent; Vezin, Hervé; Derenne, Sylvie; Robert, François


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) of Orgueil and Tagish Lake meteorites are studied by CW-EPR and pulsed-EPR spectroscopies. The EPR line is due to polycyclic paramagnetic moieties concentrated in defect-rich regions of the IOM, with concentrations of the order of 4 × 10 19 spin/g. CW-EPR reveals two types of paramagnetic defects: centres with S = 1/2, and centres with S = 0 ground state and thermally accessible triple state S = 1. In spite of the Lorentzian shape of the EPR and its narrowing upon increasing the spin concentration, the EPR line is not in the exchange narrowing regime as previously deduced from multi-frequency CW-EPR [L. Binet, D. Gourier, Appl. Magn. Reson. 30 (2006) 207-231]. It is inhomogeneously broadened as demonstrated by the presence of nuclear modulations in the spin-echo decay. The line narrowing, similar to an exchange narrowing effect, is the result of an increasing contribution of the narrow line of the triplet state centres in addition to the broader line of doublet states. Hyperfine sublevel correlation spectroscopy (HYSCORE) of hydrogen and 13C nuclei indicates that IOM rad centres are small polycyclic moieties that are moderately branched with aliphatic chains, as shown by the presence of aromatic hydrogen atoms. On the contrary the lack of such aromatic hydrogen in triplet states suggests that these radicals are most probably highly branched. Paramagnetic centres are considerably enriched in deuterium, with D/H ≈ 1.5 ± 0.5 × 10 -2 of the order of values existing in interstellar medium.

  20. Comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.W.


    Comets are objects of considerable fascination and this paper reviews the present knowledge of the physical structure of the cometary nucleus, coma and tail, the orbits of comets in the Solar System, the proposed mechanisms of cometary origin, the decay processes suffered by comets, and the ways in which they can be observed from Earth and by spacecraft. (author)

  1. Evolution of carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies: Insights into cometary nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.


    It is thought that cometary samples will comprise the most primitive materials that are able to be sampled. Although parent body alteration of such samples would not necessarily detract from scientists' interest in them, the possibility exists that modification processes may have affected cometary nuclei. Inferences about the kinds of modifications that might be encountered can be drawn from data on the evolution of carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies. Observations suggest that, of all the classes of chondrites, these meteorites are most applicable to the study of comets. If the proportion of possible internal heat sources such as Al-26 in cometary materials are similar to those in chondrites, and if the time scale of comet accretion was fast enough to permit incorporation of live radionuclides, comets might have had early thermal histories somewhat like those of carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies

  2. Infrared Spectroscopy of Carbonaceous-chondrite Inclusions in the Kapoeta Meteorite: Discovery of Nanodiamonds with New Spectral Features and Astrophysical Implications (United States)

    Abdu, Yassir A.; Hawthorne, Frank C.; Varela, Maria E.


    We report the finding of nanodiamonds, coexisting with amorphous carbon, in carbonaceous-chondrite (CC) material from the Kapoeta achondritic meteorite by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy. In the C–H stretching region (3100–2600 cm‑1), the FTIR spectrum of the Kapoeta CC material (KBr pellet) shows bands attributable to aliphatic CH2 and CH3 groups, and is very similar to IR spectra of organic matter in carbonaceous chondrites and the diffuse interstellar medium. Nanodiamonds, as evidenced by micro-Raman spectroscopy, were found in a dark region (∼400 μm in size) in the KBr pellet. Micro-FTIR spectra collected from this region are dramatically different from the KBr-pellet spectrum, and their C–H stretching region is dominated by a strong and broad absorption band centered at ∼2886 cm‑1 (3.47 μm), very similar to that observed in IR absorption spectra of hydrocarbon dust in dense interstellar clouds. Micro-FTIR spectroscopy also indicates the presence of an aldehyde and a nitrile, and both of the molecules are ubiquitous in dense interstellar clouds. In addition, IR peaks in the 1500–800 cm‑1 region are also observed, which may be attributed to different levels of nitrogen aggregation in diamonds. This is the first evidence for the presence of the 3.47 μm interstellar IR band in meteorites. Our results further support the assignment of this band to tertiary CH groups on the surfaces of nanodiamonds. The presence of the above interstellar bands and the absence of shock features in the Kapoeta nanodiamonds, as indicated by Raman spectroscopy, suggest formation by a nebular-condensation process similar to chemical-vapor deposition.

  3. Amino Acid Chemistry as a Link Between Small Solar System Bodies and Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Botta, Oliver; Cooper, George; Bada, Jeffrey L.


    Establishing chemical links between meteorites and small solar system bodies, such as comets and asteroids, provides a tool for investigating the processes that occurred during the formation of the solar system. Carbonaceous meteorites are of particular interest, since they may have seeded the early Earth with a variety of prebiotic organic compounds including amino acids, purines and pyrimidines, which are thought to be necessary for the origin of life. Here we report the results of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) based amino acid analyses of the acid-hydrolyzed hot water extracts from pristine interior pieces of the CI carbonaceous chondrites Orgueil and Ivuna and the CM meteorites Murchison and Murray. We found that the CI meteorites Orgueil and Ivuna contained high abundances of beta-alanine and glycine, while only traces of other amino acids like alanine, alpha-amino-n-butryic acid (ABA) and alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) were detected in these meteorites. Carbon isotopic measurements of beta-alanine and glycine in Orgueil by gas chromatography combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry clearly indicate an extraterrestrial origin of these amino acids. The amino acid composition of Orgueil and Ivuna was strikingly different from the CM chondrites Murchison and Murray. The most notable difference was the high relative abundance of B-alanine in Orgueil and Ivuna compared to Murchison and Murray. Furthermore, AIB, which is one of the most abundant amino acids found in Murchison and Murray, was present in only trace amounts in Orgueil and Ivuna. Our amino acid data strongly suggest that the CI meteorites Orgueil and Ivuna came from a different type of parent body than the CM meteorites Murchison and Murray, possibly from an extinct comet. It is generally thought that carbonaceous meteorites are fragments of larger asteroidal bodies delivered via near Earth objects (NEO). Orbital and dynamic studies suggest that both fragments of main belt asteroids

  4. Meteorites as space probes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaques, A.L.


    Meteorites are a major source of information on evolution of the solar system. The BMR-Hollmayer meteorite collection consists mainly of chondrites but also includes a carbonaceous chondrite and a ureilite from the achondrite group. The mineralogy and chemical composition of the meteorites have been studied

  5. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter. Volume 20 (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Satterwhite, Cecilia E.


    The availability of 116 new meteorites from the 1994-1996 collections is announced. There are 4 special chondrites, 2 carbonaceous chondrites, and 1 achondrite among the new meteorites. Also included is a redescription of Lodranite GRA95209.

  6. Meteors, meteorites and cosmic dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebedinets, V.N.


    The problem of meteorite origin and meteorite composition is discussed. Nowadays, most scientists suppose that the giant Oort cloud consisting of ice comet nuclei is the sourse of the meteor matter. A principle unity of the matter of meteorites falling to the Earth and cosmic dust is noted as well as that of meteorite bodies evaporating in the atmosphere and bearing meteors and bodies

  7. Organic chemistry of cosmic dusts for understanding an intra-relationship between meteorites and comets: Toward a new frontier of astromaterial science (United States)

    Yabuta, Hikaru


    Organic matter in primitive solar system small bodies, such as meteorites, asteroids, and comets, provides us significant information on the origin and evolution of the early solar system. The achievements of the Stardust comet sample return mission [1] have enabled the comparable small body organic chemistry between comet 81P/Wild 2 and chondritic meteorites [2, 3]. The study of organic matter in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) will play an important role for our further understanding of an intra-relationship among meteorites and comets, as some IDPs are of cometary origin. Historically, a number of isotopic and molecular compositions of organic matter in IDPs collected in stratosphere have been studied [4-7]. Recent new insights in the study of IDP organics is that, Ultracarbonaceous Antarctic micrometeorites (UCAMMs), unique extraterrestrial materials that represent large sizes of high carbon contents, have been first discovered by [8]. The mineralogical and isotopic investigations of UCAMMs by [9] have revealed the association of extreme deuterium-rich organic matter with both crystalline and amorphous silicates, which appears to be compatible to cometary origin. Yabuta et al. (2012) [10] has identified a highly nitrogen-rich but isotopically normal organic material from a UCAMM by X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy using a scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM). Such N-rich compositions have not been generally observed from chondritic organics and stratosphere IDPs, and are rather similar to those observed from several particles of Comet 81P/Wild 2. Aiming to investigate the intact compositions of organic matter in IDPs which those collected from stratosphere and Antarctica might have lost, the Japanese Astrobiology working group, Tanpopo, will be planning to collect the IDPs on the International Space Station from 2013. The mission has great advantages that collection of the pristine IDPs without atmospheric entry heating

  8. Carbonaceous Survivability on Impact (United States)

    Bunch, T. E.; Becker, Luann; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)


    In order to gain knowledge about the potential contributions of comets and cosmic dust to the origin of life on Earth, we need to explore the survivability of their potential organic compounds on impact and the formation of secondary products that may have arisen from the chaotic events sustained by the carriers as they fell to Earth. We have performed a series of hypervelocity impact experiments using carbon-bearing impactors (diamond, graphite, kerogens, PAH crystals, and Murchison and Nogoya meteorites) into Al plate targets at velocities - 6 km/s. Estimated peak shock pressures probably did not exceed 120 GPa and peak shock temperatures were probably less than 4000 K for times of nano- to microsecs. Nominal crater dia. are less than one mm. The most significant results of these experiments are the preservation of the higher mass PAHs (e. g., pyrene relative to napthalene) and the formation of additional alkylated PAHs. We have also examined the residues of polystyrene projectiles impacted by a microparticle accelerator into targets at velocities up to 15 km/s. This talk will discuss the results of these experiments and their implications with respect to the survival of carbonaceous deliverables to early Earth. The prospects of survivability of organic molecules on "intact" capture of cosmic dust in space via soft: and hard cosmic dust collectors will also be discussed.

  9. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, D.; Neugebauer, M.; Weissman, P.R.


    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission is designed to answer the many questions raised by the Halley missions by exploring a cometary nucleus in detail, following it around its orbit and studying its changing activity as it moves closer to and then away from the Sun. In addition, on its way to rendezvous with the comet, CRAF will fly by a large, primitive class main belt asteroid and will return valuable data for comparison with the comet results. The selected asteroid is 449 Hamburga with a diameter of 88 km and a surface composition of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The expected flyby date is January, 1998. The CRAF spacecraft will continue to make measurements in orbit around the cometary nucleus as they both move closer to the Sun, until the dust and gas hazard becomes unsafe. At that point the spacecraft will move in and out between 50 and 2,500 kilometers to study the inner coma and the cometary ionosphere, and to collect dust and gas samples for onboard analysis. Following perihelion, the spacecraft will make a 50,000 km excursion down the comet's tail, further investigating the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft will return to the vicinity of the nucleus about four months after perihelion to observe the changes that have taken place. If the spacecraft remains healthy and adequate fuel is still onboard, an extended mission to follow the comet nucleus out to aphelion is anticipated

  10. The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 103 (United States)

    Ruzicka, Alex; Grossman, Jeffrey; Bouvier, Audrey; Agee, Carl B.


    Meteoritical Bulletin 103 contains 2582 meteorites including 10 falls (Ardón, Demsa, Jinju, Križevci, Kuresoi, Novato, Tinajdad, Tirhert, Vicência, Wolcott), with 2174 ordinary chondrites, 130 HED achondrites, 113 carbonaceous chondrites, 41 ureilites, 27 lunar meteorites, 24 enstatite chondrites, 21 iron meteorites, 15 primitive achondrites, 11 mesosiderites, 10 Martian meteorites, 6 Rumuruti chondrites, 5 ungrouped achondrites, 2 enstatite achondrites, 1 relict meteorite, 1 pallasite, and 1 angrite, and with 1511 from Antarctica, 588 from Africa, 361 from Asia, 86 from South America, 28 from North America, and 6 from Europe. Note: 1 meteorite from Russia was counted as European. The complete contents of this bulletin (244 pages) are available on line. Information about approved meteorites can be obtained from the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (MBD) available on line at meteor/">

  11. Enrichment of the Amino Acid L-Isovaline by Aqueous Alteration on CI and CM Meteorite Parent Bodies (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.


    The distribution and enantiomeric composition of the 5-carbon (C(sub 5)) amino acids found in Cl-, CM-, and CR-type carbonaceous meteorites were investigated by using liquid chromatography fluorescence detection/TOF-MS coupled with o-phthaldialdehyde/Nacetyl- l-cysteine derivatization. A large L-enantiomeric excess (ee) of the a-methyl amino acid isovaline was found in the CM meteorite Murchison (L(sub ee) = 18.5 +/- 2.6%) and the Cl meteorite Orguell (L(sub ee) = 15.2 +/- 4.0%). The measured value for Murchison is the largest enantiomeric excess in any meteorite reported to date, and the Orgueil measurement of an isovaline excess has not been reported previously for this or any Cl meteorite. The L-isovaline enrichments in these two carbonaceous meteorites cannot be the result of interference from other C(sub 5) amino acid isomers present in the samples, analytical biases, or terrestrial amino acid contamination. We observed no L-isovaline enrichment for the most primitive unaltered Antarctic CR meteorites EET 92042 and QUE 99177. These results are inconsistent with UV circularly polarized light as the primary mechanism for L-isovaline enrichment and indicate that amplification of a small initial isovaline asymmetry in Murchison and Orgueil occurred during an extended aqueous alteration phase on the meteorite parent bodies. The large asymmetry in isovaline and other alpha-dialkyl amino acids found in altered Ct and CM meteorites suggests that amino acids delivered by asteroids, comets, and their fragments would have biased the Earth's prebiotic organic inventory with left-handed molecules before the origin of life.

  12. Indigenous Amino Acids in Iron Meteorites (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Dworkin, J. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, N. M.


    Understanding the organic content of meteorites and the potential delivery of molecules relevant to the origin of life on Earth is an important area of study in astrobiology. There have been many studies of meteoritic organics, with much focus on amino acids as monomers of proteins and enzymes essential to terrestrial life. The majority of these studies have involved analysis of carbonaceous chondrites, primitive meteorites containing approx. 3-5 wt% carbon. Amino acids have been observed in varying abundances and distributions in representatives of all eight carbonaceous chondrite groups, as well as in ungrouped carbonaceous chondrites, ordinary and R chondrites, ureilites, and planetary achondrites [1 and references therein].

  13. Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites - New opportunities for research (United States)

    McSween, Harry Y., Jr.

    An account is given of the types of carbonaceous meteorites available in the Antarctic collections of the U.S. and Japan. In the case of the collection for Victoria Land and Queen Maud Land, all known classes for meteorites except C1 are present; available pairing data, though limited, are indicative of the presence of many different falls. Thus far, attention has been focused on the largest meteorites. Most samples, however, are small.

  14. Stable Chlorine Isotopes and Elemental Chlorine by Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry and Ion Chromatography; Martian Meteorites, Carbonaceous Chondrites and Standard Rocks (United States)

    Nakamura, N.; Nyquist, L. E.; Reese, Y.; Shih, C.-Y.; Fujitani, T.; Okano, O.


    Recently significantly large mass fractionation of stable chlorine isotopes has been reported for terrestrial and lunar samples [1,2]. In addition, in view of possible early solar system processes [3] and also potential perchlorate-related fluid/microbial activities on the Martian surface [4,5], a large chlorine isotopic fractionation might be expected for some types of planetary materials. Due to analytical difficulties of isotopic and elemental analyses, however, current chlorine analyses for planetary materials are controversial among different laboratories, particularly between IRMS (gas source mass spectrometry) and TIMS (Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry) groups [i.e. 1,6,7] for isotopic analyses, as well as between those doing pyrohydrolysis and other groups [i.e. 6,8]. Additional careful investigations of Cl isotope and elemental abundances are required to confirm real chlorine isotope and elemental variations for planetary materials. We have developed a TIMS technique combined with HF-leaching/ion chromatography at NASA JSC that is applicable to analysis of small amounts of meteoritic and planetary materials. We present here results for several standard rocks and meteorites, including Martian meteorites.

  15. Characterization of carbonaceous matter in xenolithic clasts from the Sharps (H3.4) meteorite: Constraints on the origin and thermal processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kebukawa, Yoko [Yokohama National Univ. (Japan); Zolensky, Michael E. [NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States); Chan, Queenie H. S. [NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States); Nagao, Keisuke [Univ. of Tokyo (Japan); Kilcoyne, A. L. David [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Bodnar, Robert J. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States); Farley, Charles [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States); Rahman, Zia [NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States); Le, Loan [NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States); Cody, George D. [Carnegie Inst. of Washington, Washington, DC (United States)


    Primitive xenolithic clasts, often referred to as “dark clasts”, are well known in many regolith breccias. The Sharps H3.4 ordinary chondrite contains unusually large dark clasts up to ~1 cm across. Poorly-graphitized carbon (PGC), with Fe, Ni metal and described as “carbon-rich aggregates”, has been found in these clasts (Brearley, 1990). We report detailed analyses of carbonaceous matter in several identical Sharps clasts using FTIR, Raman, C-XANES, and TEM that provide insight on the extent of thermal processing and possible origin of such clasts. We also prepared acid residues of the clasts using the HCl/HF method and conducted mass spectrometric analysis of the entrained noble gases. Carbonaceous matter is often used to infer thermal history due to its sensitivity to thermal processes. The FTIR spectra of the acid residue from the Sharps clast suggest that carbonaceous matter in the clast contains less hydrogen and oxygen compared to acid residues from typical type 3.4 ordinary chondrites. The metamorphic temperatures obtained by Raman spectroscopy ranges between ~380 °C and ~490 °C. TEM observations indicate that the clasts experienced a peak temperature of 300 °C to 400 °C, based on the carbon d 002 layer lattice spacing of C-rich aggregates. These estimates are consistent with an earlier estimate of 330 ± 50 °C, that is also estimated by the d 002 layer lattice spacing (Brearley, 1990). It should be noted that the lattice spacing thermometer is based on terrestrial metamorphose rocks, and thus temperature was probably underestimated. Meanwhile, the C-XANES spectra of the C-rich aggregates show high exciton intensities, indicative of graphene structures that developed at around 700–800 °C following an extensive period of time (millions of years), however, the surrounding matrix areas experienced lower temperatures of less than 300–500 °C. Noble gas analysis of the acid residue from the Sharps clasts shows that the residue is

  16. The Orgueil meteorite: 150 years of history (United States)

    Gounelle, Matthieu; Zolensky, Michael E.


    understanding of fluid-rock interaction in asteroids and comets. Finally, the Orgueil meteorite probably originated from a volatile-rich "cometary" outer solar system body as indicated by its orbit. Because it bears strong similarities to other carbonaceous chondrites that originated on dark asteroids, this cometary connection supports the idea of a continuum between dark asteroids and comets.

  17. Anomalous Enantiomer Ratios in Meteoritic Sugar Derivatives (United States)

    Cooper, G.; Sant, M.; Asiyo, C.


    The enantiomer (mirror-image) ratios of sugar acids in carbonaceous meteorites have been measured. D-enantiomer excesses are found in all acids measured thus far. This includes rare as well as common compounds.

  18. Chiral Biomarkers in Meteorites (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    The chirality of organic molecules with the asymmetric location of group radicals was discovered in 1848 by Louis Pasteur during his investigations of the rotation of the plane of polarization of light by crystals of sodium ammonium paratartrate. It is well established that the amino acids in proteins are exclusively Levorotary (L-aminos) and the sugars in DNA and RNA are Dextrorotary (D-sugars). This phenomenon of homochirality of biological polymers is a fundamental property of all life known on Earth. Furthermore, abiotic production mechanisms typically yield recemic mixtures (i.e. equal amounts of the two enantiomers). When amino acids were first detected in carbonaceous meteorites, it was concluded that they were racemates. This conclusion was taken as evidence that they were extraterrestrial and produced by abiologically. Subsequent studies by numerous researchers have revealed that many of the amino acids in carbonaceous meteorites exhibit a significant L-excess. The observed chirality is much greater than that produced by any currently known abiotic processes (e.g. Linearly polarized light from neutron stars; Circularly polarized ultraviolet light from faint stars; optically active quartz powders; inclusion polymerization in clay minerals; Vester-Ulbricht hypothesis of parity violations, etc.). This paper compares the measured chirality detected in the amino acids of carbonaceous meteorites with the effect of these diverse abiotic processes. IT is concluded that the levels observed are inconsistent with post-arrival biological contamination or with any of the currently known abiotic production mechanisms. However, they are consistent with ancient biological processes on the meteorite parent body. This paper will consider these chiral biomarkers in view of the detection of possible microfossils found in the Orgueil and Murchison carbonaceous meteorites. Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) data obtained on these morphological biomarkers will be

  19. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.


    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  20. Organic Molecules in Meteorites (United States)

    Martins, Zita


    Carbonaceous meteorites are primitive samples from the asteroid belt, containing 3-5wt% organic carbon. The exogenous delivery of organic matter by carbonaceous meteorites may have contributed to the organic inventory of the early Earth. The majority (>70%) of the meteoritic organic material consist of insoluble organic matter (IOM) [1]. The remaining meteoritic organic material (meteorites contain soluble organic molecules with different abundances and distributions, which may reflect the extension of aqueous alteration or thermal metamorphism on the meteorite parent bodies. Extensive aqueous alteration on the meteorite parent body may result on 1) the decomposition of α-amino acids [5, 6]; 2) synthesis of β- and γ-amino acids [2, 6-9]; 3) higher relative abundances of alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [6, 10]; and 4) higher L-enantiomer excess (Lee) value of isovaline [6, 11, 12].The soluble organic content of carbonaceous meteorites may also have a contribution from Fischer-Tropsch/Haber-Bosch type gas-grain reactions after the meteorite parent body cooled to lower temperatures [13, 14].The analysis of the abundances and distribution of the organic molecules present in meteorites helps to determine the physical and chemical conditions of the early solar system, and the prebiotic organic compounds available on the early Earth.[1] Cody and Alexander (2005) GCA 69, 1085. [2] Cronin and Chang (1993) in: The Chemistry of Life’s Origin. pp. 209-258. [3] Martins and Sephton (2009) in: Amino acids, peptides and proteins in organic chemistry. pp. 1-42. [4] Martins (2011) Elements 7, 35. [5] Botta et al. (2007) MAPS 42, 81. [6] Martins et al. (2015) MAPS, in press. [7] Cooper and Cronin (1995) GCA 59, 1003. [8] Glavin et al. (2006) MAPS. 41, 889. [9] Glavin et al. (2011) MAPS 45, 1948. [10] Elsila et al. (2005) GCA 5, 1349. [11] Glavin and Dworkin (2009) PNAS 106, 5487. [12] Pizzarello et al. (2003) GCA 67, 1589. [13] Chan et al. (2012) MAPS. 47, 1502

  1. Carbon isotope composition of individual amino acids in the Murchison meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engel, M.H.; Macko, S.A.; Silter, J.A.


    A SIGNIFICANT parties of prebiotic organic matter on the early Earth may have been introduced by carbonaceous asteroids and comets. 1 The distribution and stable-isotope composition of individual organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites, which are thought to be derived from asteroidal parent bodies, may therefore provide important information concerning mechanistic pathways for prebiotic synthesis 2 and the composition of organic matter on Earth before living systems developed. 3 Previous studies 11,12 have shown that meteorite amino acids are enriched in 13 C relatives to their terrestrial counterparts, but individual species were not distinguished. Here we report the 13 C contents of individual amino acids in the Murchison meteorite. The amino acids are enriched in 13 C, indicating an extraterrestrial origin. Alanine is not racemic, and the 13 C enrichment of its D- and L-enantiomers implies that the excess of the L-enantiomer is indigenous rather than terrestrial contamination, suggesting that optically active materials were present in the early Solar System before life began. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

  2. Organic Chemistry of Meteorites (United States)

    Chang, S.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)


    Studies of the molecular structures and C,N,H-isotopic compositions of organic matter in meteorites reveal a complex history beginning in the parent interstellar cloud which spawned the solar system. Incorporation of interstellar dust and gas in the protosolar nebula followed by further thermal and aqueous processing on primordial parent bodies of carbonaceous, meteorites have produced an inventory of diverse organic compounds including classes now utilized in biochemistry. This inventory represents one possible set of reactants for chemical models for the origin of living systems on the early Earth. Evidence bearing on the history of meteoritic organic matter from astronomical observations and laboratory investigations will be reviewed and future research directions discussed.

  3. Organics Captured from Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust Spacecraft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanford, S A; Aleon, J; O' D. Alexander, C M; Araki, T; Bajt, S; Baratta, G A; Borg, J; Brucato, J R; Burchell, M J; Busemann, H; Butterworth, A; Clemett, S J; Cody, G; Colangeli, L; Cooper, G; D' Hendecourt, L; Djouadi, Z; Dworkin, J P; Ferrini, G; Fleckenstein, H; Flynn, G; Franchi, I A; Fries, M; Gilles, M K; Glavin, D P; Gounelle, M; Grossemy, F; Jacobsen, C; Keller, L P; Kilcoyne, A D; Leitner, J; Matrajt, G; Meibom, A; Mennella, V; Mostefaoui, S; Nittler, L R; Palumbo, M E; Robert, F; Rotundi, A; Snead, C J; Spencer, M K; Steele, A; Stephan, T; Tyliszczak, T; Westphal, A J; Wirick, S; Wopenka, B; Yabuta, H; Zare, R N; Zolensky, M


    Organics found in Comet Wild 2 samples show a heterogeneous and unequilibrated distribution in abundance and composition. Some organics are similar, but not identical, to those in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and carbonaceous meteorites. A class of aromatic-poor organic material is also present. The organics are rich in O and N compared to meteoritic organics. Aromatic compounds are present, but the samples tend to be relatively poorer in aromatics than meteorites and IDPs. D and {sup 15}N suggest that some organics have an interstellar/protostellar heritage. While the variable extent of modification of these materials by impact capture is not yet fully constrained, a remarkably diverse suite of organic compounds is present and identifiable within the returned samples. Comets are small bodies that accreted in the outer Solar System during its formation (1) and thus may consist of preserved samples of the ''starting materials'' from which the Solar System was made. Organic materials are expected to be present in cometary samples (2) and may include molecules made and/or modified in stellar outflows, the interstellar medium, and the protosolar nebula, as well as by parent body processing within the comet. The presence of organic compounds in comets and their ejecta is of astrobiological interest since their delivery to the early Earth may have played an important role in the origin of life on Earth (3). An overview of the Stardust Mission and the collection and recovery of Wild 2 samples is provided elsewhere (4,5). We describe the results obtained from the returned samples by the Stardust Organics Preliminary Examination Team (PET). Samples were studied using a wide range of analytical techniques, including two-step laser desorption laser ionization mass spectrometry (L{sub 2}MS), Liquid Chromatography with UV Fluorescence Detection and Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (LC-FD/TOF-MS), Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM), X

  4. Organics In Meteorites (United States)

    Chang, Sherwood


    The variety of classes of organic compounds that occur in carbonaceous meteorites suggests a rich pre-planetary chemistry with possible connections to interstellar, solar nebular and parent body processes. Structural diversity prevails within all classes examined in detail. Among amino acids for instance, all possible isomers are found up to species containing 4-6 carbon atoms, with abundances decreasing with increasing molecular weight. Such diversity seems limited to those carbonaceous meteorites which show evidence of having been exposed to liquid water; meteorites lacking such evidence also show much lower abundances and less structural diversity in their organic contents. This apparent dependency on water suggests a role for cometary ices in the chemical evolution of organic compounds on parent bodies. Measurements of the stable isotope compositions of C, H, N and S in classes of compounds and at the individual compound level show strong deviations from average chondritic values. These deviations are difficult to explain by solar system or parent body processes, and precedents for some of these isotopic anomalies exist in interstellar (e.g., high D/H ratios) and circumstellar chemistry. Therefore, presolar origins for much if not all of the meteoritic organic compounds (or their precursors) is a distinct possibility. In contrast, evidence of solar nebular origins is either lacking or suspect. Results from molecular and isotopic analyses of meteoritic organics, from laboratory simulations and from a model of interstellar grain reactions will be used to flesh out the hypothesis that this material originated with interstellar chemistry, was distributed within the early solar system as cometary ices, and was subsequently altered on meteorite parent bodies to yield the observed compounds.

  5. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S


    This revised edition places a unique emphasis on all the new results from ground-based, satellites and space missions - detection of molecule H2 and prompt emission lines of OH for the first time; discovery of X-rays in comets; observed diversity in chemical composition among comets; the puzzle of the constancy of spin temperature; the well-established mineralogy of cometary dust; extensive theoretical modeling carried out for understanding the observed effects; and, the similarity in the mineralogy of dust in circumstellar shell of stars, comets, meteorites, asteroids and IDPs, thus indicatin

  6. Amino Acids in Asteroids and Comets: Implications for the Origin of Life on Earth and Possibly Elsewhere (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel


    Meteorites provide a record of the chemical processes that occurred in the early solar system before life began on Earth. The delivery of organic matter by asteroids, comets, and their fragments to the Earth and other planetary bodies in our solar system could have been an important source of the prebiotic organic inventory needed for the emergence of life. Amino acids are essential components of proteins and enzymes in life on Earth and these prebiotic organic compounds have been detected in a wide variety of carbon-rich meteorites, the majority of which have been determined to be extraterrestrial in origin. In addition, many amino acids are structurally chiral (they possess handedness) and with a few very rare exceptions, only left handed (L) amino acids are found in biology, while all known abiotic syntheses of amino acids result in equal mixtures of left and right handed (LD) amino acids. The discovery of a significant left handed amino acid imbalance of up to 20% in several different carbonaceous meteorites, could point toward a possible prebiotic contribution to the origin of biological homochirality by the exogenous delivery of extraterrestrial organic material to the early Earth. In this talk, I will focus on recent state-of-the-art measurements of the distribution, chirality, and isotopic composition of amino acids in meteorites and cometary samples carried out at the Goddard Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory. Results from the analyses of a variety of Antarctic meteorites, samples from comet Wild 2 returned by the STARDUST mission, and meteorite fragments of asteroid 2008 TC3 called Almahata Sitta recovered from northern Sudan will be discussed

  7. The Thermal Properties of CM Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Britt, D. T.; Opeil, C.


    The physical properties of asteroid exploration targets are fundamental parameters for developing models, planning observations, mission operations, reducing operational risk, and interpreting mission results. Until we have returned samples, meteorites represent our "ground truth" for the geological material we expect to interact with, sample, and interpret on the surfaces of asteroids. The physical properties of the volatile-rich carbonaceous chondrites (CI, C2, CM, and CR groups) are of particular interest because of their high resource potential. We have measured the thermal conductivity, heat capacity and thermal expansion of five CM carbonaceous chondrites (Murchison, Murray, Cold Bokkeveld, NWA 7309, Jbilet Winselwan) at low temperatures (5-300 K) to mimic the conditions in the asteroid belt. The mineralogy of these meteorites are dominated by abundant hydrous phyllosilicates, but also contain anhydrous minerals such as olivine and pyroxene found in chondrules. The thermal expansion measurements for all these CMs indicate a substantial increase in meteorite volume as temperature decreases from 230 - 210 K followed by linear contraction below 210 K. Such transitions were unexpected and are not typical for anhydrous carbonaceous chondrites or ordinary chondrites. Our thermal diffusivity results compare well with previous estimates for similar meteorites, where conductivity was derived from diffusivity measurements and modeled heat capacities; our new values are of a higher precision and cover a wider range of temperatures.

  8. Astronomical and Meteoritic Evidence for the Nature of Interstellar Dust and Its Processing in Protoplanetary Disks (United States)

    Alexander, C. M. O'd.; Boss, A. P.; Keller, L. P.; Nuth, J. A.; Weinberger, A.

    Here we compare the astronomical and meteoritic evidence for the nature and origin of interstellar dust, and how it is processed in protoplanetary disks. The relative abundances of circumstellar grains in meteorites and interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) are broadly consistent with most astronomical estimates of galactic dust production, although graphite/amorphous C is highly underabundant. The major carbonaceous component in meteorites and IDPs is an insoluble organic material (IOM) that probably formed in the interstellar medium, but a solar origin cannot be ruled out. GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfide) that are isotopically solar within error are the best candidates for interstellar silicates, but it is also possible that they are solar system condensates. No dust from young stellar objects has been identified in IDPs, but it is difficult to differentiate them from solar system material or indeed some circumstellar condensates. The crystalline silicates in IDPs are mostly solar condensates, with lesser amounts of annealed GEMS. The IOM abundances in IDPs are roughly consistent with the degree of processing indicated by their crystallinity if the processed material was ISM dust. The IOM contents of meteorites are much lower, suggesting that there was a gradient in dust processing in the solar system. The microstructure of much of the pyroxene in IDPs suggests that it formed at temperatures >1258 K and cooled relatively rapidly (~1000 K/h). This cooling rate favors shock heating rather than radial transport of material annealed in the hot inner disk as the mechanism for producing crystalline dust in comets and IDPs. Shock heating is also a likely mechanism for producing chondrules in meteorites, but the dust was probably heated at a different time and/or location to chondrules.

  9. Primordial Molecular Cloud Material in Metal-Rich Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.


    The menagerie of objects that make up our Solar System reflects the composition of the huge molecular cloud in which the Sun formed, a late addition of short-lived isotopes from an exploding supernova or stellar winds from a neighboring massive star, heating and/or alteration by water in growing planetesimals that modified and segregated the primordial components, and mixing throughout the Solar System. Outer Solar System objects, such as comets, have always been cold, hence minimizing the changes experienced by more processed objects. They are thought to preserve information about the molecular cloud. Elishevah Van Kooten (Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen) and co-authors in Denmark and at the University of Hawai'i, measured the isotopic compositions of magnesium and chromium in metal-rich carbonaceous chondrites. They found that the meteorites preserve an isotopic signature of primordial molecular cloud materials, providing a potentially detailed record of the molecular cloud's composition and of materials that formed in the outer Solar System.

  10. Astrobiology of Comets (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.


    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  11. Meteorites for K-12 Classrooms: NASA Meteorite Educational Materials (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Allen, J.


    The fall of a new meteorite is an event that catches the interest of the public in matters of science. The threat of a huge impact like last year's comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 gives us all reason to evaluate such potential risks. NASA's meteorite educational materials use our natural interest in rocks from space to present classroom activities on planetary science. The meteorite educational package includes a meteorite sample disk, a teachers's guide and a slide set. The sample disk is a lucite disk containing chips of six different kinds of meteorites (3 chondrites, achondrite, iron, stony-iron). EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is a teacher's guide with background information and 19 hands-on or heads-on activities for grades 4-12. It was prepared in a partnership of planetary scientists and teachers. The slide set consists of 48 slides with captions to be used with the activities. The materials will be available in Fall 1995. Teachers may obtain a loan of the whole package from NASA Teacher Resource Centers; researchers may borrow them from the JSC meteorite curator. The booklet is available separately from the same sources, and the slide set will be available from NASA CORE. EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is an interdisciplinary planetary science unit which teaches basic science concepts and techniques together with math, reading, writing and social studies The activities are done in a variety of different teaching styles which emphasize observation, experimentation and critical thinking. The activities are ideal for middle schools where teaming makes interdisciplinary units desireable, but most of the activities can be easily modified for grade levels from upper elementary through high school. Meteorites are a natural subject for interdisciplinary teaching because their study involves all fields of science and offers fascinating historical accounts and possibilities for creative expression. Topics covered in EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERES are centered around basic

  12. Structural, chemical and isotopic examinations of interstellar organic matter extracted from meteorites and interstellar dust particles (United States)

    Busemann, Henner; Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Nittler, Larry R.; Stroud, Rhonda M.; Zega, Tom J.; Cody, George D.; Yabuta, Hikaru; Kilcoyne, A. L. David


    Meteorites and Interplanetary Dust Particles (IDPs) are supposed to originate from asteroids and comets, sampling the most primitive bodies in the Solar System. They contain abundant carbonaceous material. Some of this, mostly insoluble organic matter (IOM), likely originated in the protosolar molecular cloud, based on spectral properties and H and N isotope characteristics. Together with cometary material returned with the Stardust mission, these samples provide a benchmark for models aiming to understand organic chemistry in the interstellar medium, as well as for mechanisms that secured the survival of these fragile molecules during Solar System formation. The carrier molecules of the isotope anomalies are largely unknown, although amorphous carbonaceous spheres, so-called nanoglobules, have been identified as carriers. We are using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry to identify isotopically anomalous material in meteoritic IOM and IDPs at a ~100-200 nm scale. Organics of most likely interstellar origin are then extracted with the Focused-Ion-Beam technique and prepared for synchrotron X-ray and Transmission Electron Microscopy. These experiments yield information on the character of the H- and N-bearing interstellar molecules: While the association of H and N isotope anomalies with nanoglobules could be confirmed, we have also identified amorphous, micron-sized monolithic grains. D-enrichments in meteoritic IOM appear not to be systematically associated with any specific functional groups, whereas 15N-rich material can be related to imine and nitrile functionality. The large 15N- enrichments observed here (δ15N > 1000 ‰) cannot be reconciled with models using interstellar ammonia ice reactions, and hence, provide new constraints for understanding the chemistry in cold interstellar clouds.

  13. Extraterrestrial Nucleobases in Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Martins, Z.; Botta, O.; Fogel, M.; Sephton, M.; Glavin, D.; Watson, J.; Dworkin, J.; Schwartz, A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    Nucleobases in Carbonaceous Chondrites Z. Martins (1), O. Botta (2), M. L. Fogel (3), M. A. Sephton (4), D. P. Glavin (2), J. S. Watson (5), J. P. Dworkin (2), A. W. Schwartz (6) and P. Ehrenfreund (1,6). (1) Astrobiology Laboratory, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden, The Netherlands, (2) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Center for Astrobiology, Greenbelt, MD, USA, (3) GL, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington DC, USA, (4) Impacts and Astromaterials Research Centre, Department of Earth Science and Engineering, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College, London, UK, (5) Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK, (6) Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail: Nucleobases are crucial compounds in terrestrial biochemistry, because they are key components of DNA and RNA. Carbonaceous meteorites have been analyzed for nucleobases by different research groups [1-5]. However, significant quantitative and qualitative differences were observed, leading to the controversial about the origin of these nucleobases. In order to establish the origin of these compounds in carbonaceous chondrites and to assess the plausibility of their exogenous delivery to the early Earth, we have performed formic acid extraction of samples of the Murchison meteorite [6], followed by an extensive purification procedure, analysis and quantification by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV absorption detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Our results were qualitatively consistent with previous results [3, 4], but showed significant quantitative differences. Compound specific carbon isotope values were obtained, using gas chromatography-combustion- isotope ratio mass spectrometry. A soil sample collected in the proximity of the Murchison meteorite fall site was subjected to the same extraction, purification and analysis procedure

  14. Organics in meteorites - Solar or interstellar? (United States)

    Alexander, Conel M. O'D.; Cody, George D.; Fogel, Marilyn; Yabuta, Hikaru


    The insoluble organic material (IOM) in primitive meteorites is related to the organic material in interplanetary dust particles and comets, and is probably related to the refractory organic material in the diffuse interstellar medium. If the IOM is representative of refractory ISM organics, models for how and from what it formed will have to be revised.

  15. Observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    James, Nick


    Since comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with the planet Jupiter with stupendous force in 1994 there has been an upsurge of amateur interest in comets Most comets are first discovered by amateur astronomers because there are so many amateurs looking for them, and techniques and instruments have improved dramatically in the past few years After a short but detailed introduction to the comets themselves Nick James and Gerald North describe comet hunting, photographing and imaging comets, and digital image processing The use of computers for orbital calculations and even helping to discover new comets is given a full chapter, as are advanced techniques including comet photometry and spectroscopy This comprehensive book has an accompanying CD-ROM and is at once a "primer" for comet hunters and a reference text for more advanced amateur astronomers

  16. Distinct Purine Distribution in Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Callahan, Michael P.; Smith, Karen E.; Cleaves, Henderson J.; Ruzicka, Josef; Stern, Jennifer C.; Glavin, Daniel P.; House, Christopher H.; Dworkin, Jason P.


    Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are known to contain a diverse suite of organic compounds, many of which are essential components of biochemistry. Amino acids, which are the monomers of proteins, have been extensively studied in such meteorites (e.g. Botta and Bada 2002; Pizzarello et aI., 2006). The origin of amino acids in meteorites has been firmly established as extraterrestrial based on their detection typically as racemic mixtures of amino acids, the presence of many non-protein amino acids, and non-terrestrial values for compound-specific deuterium, carbon, and nitrogen isotopic measurements. In contrast to amino acids, nucleobases in meteorites have been far less studied. Nucleobases are substituted one-ring (pyrimidine) or two-ring (purine) nitrogen heterocyclic compounds and serve as the information carriers of nucleic acids and in numerous coenzymes. All of the purines (adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine, and xanthine) and pyrimidines (uracil) previously reported in meteorites are biologically common and could be interpreted as the result of terrestrial contamination (e.g. van del' Velden and Schwartz, 1974.) Unlike other meteoritic organics, there have been no observations of stochastic molecular diversity of purines and pyrimidines in meteorites, which has been a criterion for establishing extraterrestrial origin. Maltins et al. (2008) performed compound-specific stable carbon isotope measurements for uracil and xanthine in the Murchison meteorite. They assigned a non-terrestrial origin for these nucleobases; however, the possibility that interfering indigenous molecules (e.g. carboxylic acids) contributed to the 13C-enriched isotope values for these nucleobases cannot be completely ruled out. Thus, the origin of these meteoritic nucleobases has never been established unequivocally. Here we report on our investigation of extracts of II different carbonaceous chondrites covering various petrographic types (Cl, CM, and CR) and degrees of aqueous alteration

  17. Extraterrestrial Organic Compounds in Meteorites (United States)

    Botta, Oliver; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Michael (Technical Monitor)


    Many organic compounds or their precursors found in meteorites originated in the interstellar or circumstellar medium and were later incorporated into planetesimals during the formation of the solar system. There they either survived intact or underwent further processing to synthesize secondary products on the meteorite parent body. The most distinct feature of CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites, two types of stony meteorites, is their high carbon content (up to 3% of weight), either in the form of carbonates or of organic compounds. The bulk of the organic carbon consists of an insoluble macromolecular material with a complex structure. Also present is a soluble organic fraction, which has been analyzed by several separation and analytical procedures. Low detection limits can be achieved by derivatization of the organic molecules with reagents that allow for analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography. The CM meteorite Murchison has been found to contain more than 70 extraterrestrial amino acids and several other classes of compounds including carboxylic acids, hydroxy carboxylic acids, sulphonic and phosphonic acids, aliphatic, aromatic and polar hydrocarbons, fullerenes, heterocycles as well as carbonyl compounds, alcohols, amines and amides. The organic matter was found to be enriched in deuterium, and distinct organic compounds show isotopic enrichments of carbon and nitrogen relative to terrestrial matter.

  18. Classification of Meteorites and Micrometeorites (United States)

    Maurette, Michel

    Archeologists only started to trace back successfully the advance of the Roman legions, trade patterns and the evolution of manufacturing techniques in Roman time, once they found an efficient scheme of classification for the fragments of amphora used to transport wine for the soldiers. Similarly, the classification of meteorites and micrometeorites is an essential step in the exploitation of these extraterrestrial debris. We recall that one of the main objectives of meteoriticists over the last 30 years was to find the most primitive objects of the solar system, which have been the least reprocessed since the formation of the early solar nebula, with the view to exploit them as reliable archivist of our distant past. This section outlines some of the methods used to classify meteorites and Antarctic micrometeorites. It also summarizes some of the key features of the surprisingly simple relationship between micrometeorites and a relatively rare group of stony meteorites, the hydrous carbonaceous CM-type chondrites, which was only confirmed recently after the study of the Concordia micrometeorites collected in central Antarctica in January 2002. A more technical discussion of this relationship presented in Sect. 25 will allow its extension to the smaller micrometeorites collected by NASA in the stratosphere. The book of Wasson (1985) is still one of the best monographs about meteorites.

  19. What we know about Oslo meteorite from cosmogenic isotope analysis (United States)

    Tymiński, Z.; Stolarz, M.; Kubalczak, T.; Zaręba, P.; Burski, M.; Bilet, M.; Miśta, E.; Tymińska, K.; Kołakowska, E.; Burakowska, A.; Żołądek, P.; Olech, A.; Wiśniewski, M.; Listkowska, A.; Saganowski, P.


    The fragments of an asteroid that had crashed over Norway were found in a few locations in Oslo at the beginning of March 2012. Later on some pieces of meteorite from the most South area were collected by the Meteoritical Section members of Comet and Meteor Workshop (PKiM) with the help of local meteoritical authorities. One meteorite fragment of 32g was used to measure cosmogenic radionuclides using non-destructive high-resolution gamma spectrometry technique. Five radioisotopes such as Al-26, Na-22, Mn-54, Co-57 and Co-60 were detected

  20. Organic compounds in the Murchison meteorite. (United States)

    Ponnamperuma, C.


    Impressive supporting evidence for the concept of the chemical evolution of life has appeared in the discovery of biologically important compounds in extraterrestrial samples. The approaches pursued to detect extraterrestrial organic compounds include the study of interstellar space by radioastronomy, the evaluation of the Apollo lunar samples, and the analysis of meteorites, both ancient and recent. It has been found that the clouds of gas in the interstellar medium contain a wide variety of molecules, most of which are organic in nature. The carbonaceous chondrites contain polymeric organic matter. Amino acids have been detected in the Murchison meteorite.

  1. Diradicaloids in the insoluble organic matter from the Tagish Lake meteorite: Comparison with the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites (United States)

    Binet, L.; Gourier, D.; Derenne, S.; Pizzarello, S.; Becker, L.


    The radicals in the insoluble organic matter (IOM) from the Tagish Lake meteorites were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance and compared to those existing in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. As in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites, the radicals in the Tagish Lake meteorite are heterogeneously distributed and comprise a substantial amount (~42%) of species with a thermally acessible triplet state and with the same singlet-triplet gap, ?E ??0.1 eV, as in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. These species were identified as diradicaloid moieties. The existence of similar diradicaloid moieties in three different carbonaceous chondrites but not in terrestrial IOM strongly suggests that these moieties could be "fingerprints" of the extraterrestrial origin of meteoritic IOM and markers of its synthetic pathway before its inclusion into a parent body.

  2. Meteoritic Amino Acids: Diversity in Compositions Reflects Parent Body Histories (United States)

    Elsila, Jamie E.; Aponte, Jose C.; Blackmond, Donna G.; Burton, Aaron S.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Glavin, Daniel P.


    The analysis of amino acids in meteorites dates back over 50 years; however, it is only in recent years that research has expanded beyond investigations of a narrow set of meteorite groups (exemplied by the Murchison meteorite) into meteorites of other types and classes. These new studies have shown a wide diversity in the abundance and distribution of amino acids across carbonaceous chondrite groups, highlighting the role of parent body processes and composition in the creation, preservation, or alteration of amino acids. Although most chiral amino acids are racemic in meteorites, the enantiomeric distribution of some amino acids, particularly of the nonprotein amino acid isovaline, has also been shown to vary both within certain meteorites and across carbonaceous meteorite groups. Large -enantiomeric excesses of some extraterrestrial protein amino acids (up to 60) have also been observed in rare cases and point to nonbiological enantiomeric enrichment processes prior to the emergence of life. In this Outlook, we review these recent meteoritic analyses, focusing on variations in abundance, structural distributions, and enantiomeric distributions of amino acids and discussing possible explanations for these observations and the potential for future work.

  3. Abodes for life in carbonaceous asteroids? (United States)

    Abramov, Oleg; Mojzsis, Stephen J.


    Thermal evolution models for carbonaceous asteroids that use new data for permeability, pore volume, and water circulation as input parameters provide a window into what are arguably the earliest habitable environments in the Solar System. Plausible models of the Murchison meteorite (CM) parent body show that to first-order, conditions suitable for the stability of liquid water, and thus pre- or post-biotic chemistry, could have persisted within these asteroids for tens of Myr. In particular, our modeling results indicate that a 200-km carbonaceous asteroid with a 40% initial ice content takes almost 60 Myr to cool completely, with habitable temperatures being maintained for ˜24 Myr in the center. Yet, there are a number of indications that even with the requisite liquid water, thermal energy sources to drive chemical gradients, and abundant organic "building blocks" deemed necessary criteria for life, carbonaceous asteroids were intrinsically unfavorable sites for biopoesis. These controls include different degrees of exothermal mineral hydration reactions that boost internal warming but effectively remove liquid water from the system, rapid (1-10 mm yr -1) inward migration of internal habitable volumes in most models, and limitations imposed by low permeabilities and small pore sizes in primitive undifferentiated carbonaceous asteroids. Our results do not preclude the existence of habitable conditions on larger, possibly differentiated objects such as Ceres and the Themis family asteroids due to presumed longer, more intense heating and possible long-lived water reservoirs.

  4. Isotopic variations in primitive meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clayton, R.N.; Chicago Univ., IL; Chicago Univ., IL


    The presence of large internal 16 O variability in ordinary chondrites greatly extends the range of meteorite types in which this phenomenon has been observed. These results may lead to identification of major gas and dust reservoirs in the cloud from which the Solar System formed. The demonstration that live 107 Pd was present in the differentiated parent bodies of some iron meteorites supports the million year time scale between a major nucleosynthetic event and Solar System formation, as implied by the presence of live 26 Al in carbonaceous chondrites. However, the variability of radiogenic 26 Mg abundances in these meteorites makes it clear that the data cannot be interpreted simply in terms of time variations. Models of nucleosynthesis for elements from calcium to the iron peak should be aided by the new observations of abundances of titanium isotopes. Progress has been made in establishing the carrier phases of isotopically anomalous xenon and krypton. The apparent location of anomalous xenon and 14 N-rich nitrogen in identical carriers supports the notion that nucleosynthetic anomalies in nitrogen are also present in Allende. (author)

  5. Fungal Peptaibiotics: Assessing Potential Meteoritic Amino Acid Contamination (United States)

    Elsila, J. E.; Callahan, M. P.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Bruckner, H.


    The presence of non-protein alpha-dialkyl-amino acids such as alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (alpha-A1B) and isovaline (Iva), which are relatively rare in the terrestrial biosphere, has long been used as an indication of the indigeneity of meteoritic amino acids, however, the discovery of alpha-AIB in peptides producers by a widespread group of filamentous fungi indicates the possibility of a terrestrial biotic source for the alpha-AIB observed in some meteorites. The alpha-AIB-containing peptides produced by these fungi are dubbed peptaibiotics. We measured the molecular distribution and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios for amino acids found in the total hydrolysates of four biologically synthesized peptaibiotics. We compared these aneasurenetts with those from the CM2 carbonaceous chondrite Murchison and from three Antarctic CR2 carbonaceous chondrites in order to understand the peptaibiotics as a potential source of meteoritic contamination.

  6. On radiogenic nature of xenon-X in carbonaceous and LL chondrites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gerling, Eh.K.


    The nature of Xe-X from the mineral fraction produced during the differential dissolution of carbonaceous and LL chondrites was investigated using literature data on the age of some meteorites and their fractions and quantities of fission 136 Xe contained in them. A graph of lg fission 136 Xe against the age of meteorites was plotted; the decay constant of a hypothetical superheavy nucleus was calculated using the graph and equaled 1x10 - 7 year - 1 . The calculations served as a forcible argument for the radiogenic nature of xenon with 136 and 134 mass in carbonaceous and LL chondrites

  7. Proto-Planetary Disk Chemistry Recorded by D-Rich Organic Radicals in Carbonaceous Chondrites


    Remusat, Laurent; Robert, François; Meibom, Anders; Mostefaoui, Smail; Delpoux, Olivier; Binet, Laurent; Gourier, Didier; Derenne, Sylvie


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) in primitive carbonaceous meteorites has preserved its chemical composition and isotopic heterogeneity since the solar system formed ~4.567 billion years ago. We have identified the carrier moieties of isotopically anomalous hydrogen in IOM isolated from the Orgueil carbonaceous chondrite. Data from high spatial resolution, quantitative isotopic NanoSIMS mapping of Orgueil IOM combined with data from electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that orga...

  8. Comet coma sample return instrument (United States)

    Albee, A. L.; Brownlee, Don E.; Burnett, Donald S.; Tsou, Peter; Uesugi, K. T.


    The sample collection technology and instrument concept for the Sample of Comet Coma Earth Return Mission (SOCCER) are described. The scientific goals of this Flyby Sample Return are to return to coma dust and volatile samples from a known comet source, which will permit accurate elemental and isotopic measurements for thousands of individual solid particles and volatiles, detailed analysis of the dust structure, morphology, and mineralogy of the intact samples, and identification of the biogenic elements or compounds in the solid and volatile samples. Having these intact samples, morphologic, petrographic, and phase structural features can be determined. Information on dust particle size, shape, and density can be ascertained by analyzing penetration holes and tracks in the capture medium. Time and spatial data of dust capture will provide understanding of the flux dynamics of the coma and the jets. Additional information will include the identification of cosmic ray tracks in the cometary grains, which can provide a particle's process history and perhaps even the age of the comet. The measurements will be made with the same equipment used for studying micrometeorites for decades past; hence, the results can be directly compared without extrapolation or modification. The data will provide a powerful and direct technique for comparing the cometary samples with all known types of meteorites and interplanetary dust. This sample collection system will provide the first sample return from a specifically identified primitive body and will allow, for the first time, a direct method of matching meteoritic materials captured on Earth with known parent bodies.

  9. A Peltier-based freeze-thaw device for meteorite disaggregation (United States)

    Ogliore, R. C.


    A Peltier-based freeze-thaw device for the disaggregation of meteorite or other rock samples is described. Meteorite samples are kept in six water-filled cavities inside a thin-walled Al block. This block is held between two Peltier coolers that are automatically cycled between cooling and warming. One cycle takes approximately 20 min. The device can run unattended for months, allowing for ˜10 000 freeze-thaw cycles that will disaggregate meteorites even with relatively low porosity. This device was used to disaggregate ordinary and carbonaceous chondrite regoltih breccia meteorites to search for micrometeoroid impact craters.

  10. Enantiomer Ratios of Meteoritic Sugar Derivatives (United States)

    Cooper, George


    Carbonaceous meteorites contain a diverse suite of soluble organic compounds. Studies of these compounds reveal the Solar System's earliest organic chemistry. Among the classes of organic compounds found in meteorites are keto acids (pyruvic acid, etc.), hydroxy tricarboxylic acids (1), amino acids, amides, purines and pyrimidines. The Murchison and Murray meteorites are the most studied for soluble and insoluble organic compounds and organic carbon phases. The majority of (indigenous) meteoritic compounds are racemic, (i.e., their D/L enantiomer ratios are 50:50). However, some of the more unusual (non-protein) amino acids contain slightly more of one enantiomer (usually the L) than the other. This presentation focuses on the enantiomer analyses of three to six-carbon (3C to 6C) meteoritic sugar acids. The molecular and enantiomer analysis of corresponding sugar alcohols will also be discussed. Detailed analytical procedures for sugar-acid enantiomers have been described. Results of several meteorite analyses show that glyceric acid is consistently racemic (or nearly so) as expected of non-biological mechanisms of synthesis. Also racemic are 4-C deoxy sugar acids: 2-methyl glyceric acid; 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid; 2,3-dihydroxybutyric acid (two diastereomers); and 3,4-dihydroxybutyric acid. However, a 4C acid, threonic acid, has never been observed as racemic, i.e., it possesses a large D excess. In several samples of Murchison and one of GRA 95229 (possibly the most pristine carbonaceous meteorite yet analyzed) threonic acid has nearly the same D enrichment. In Murchison, preliminary isotopic measurements of individual threonic acid enantiomers point towards extraterrestrial sources of the D enrichment. Enantiomer analyses of the 5C mono-sugar acids, ribonic, arabinonic, xylonic, and lyxonic also show large D excesses. It is worth noting that all four of these acids (all of the possible straight-chained 5C sugar acids) are present in meteorites, including the

  11. Abundant Solar Nebula Solids in Comets (United States)

    Messenger, S.; Keller, L. P.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Nguyen, A. N.; Clemett, S.


    Comets have been proposed to consist of unprocessed interstellar materials together with a variable amount of thermally annealed interstellar grains. Recent studies of cometary solids in the laboratory have shown that comets instead consist of a wide range of materials from across the protoplanetary disk, in addition to a minor complement of interstellar materials. These advances were made possible by the return of direct samples of comet 81P/Wild 2 coma dust by the NASA Stardust mission and recent advances in microscale analytical techniques. Isotopic studies of 'cometary' chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP-IDPs) and comet 81P/Wild 2 Stardust samples show that preserved interstellar materials are more abundant in comets than in any class of meteorite. Identified interstellar materials include sub-micron-sized presolar silicates, oxides, and SiC dust grains and some fraction of the organic material that binds the samples together. Presolar grain abundances reach 1 weight percentage in the most stardust-rich CP-IDPs, 50 times greater than in meteorites. Yet, order of magnitude variations in presolar grain abundances among CP-IDPs suggest cometary solids experienced significant variations in the degree of processing in the solar nebula. Comets contain a surprisingly high abundance of nebular solids formed or altered at high temperatures. Comet 81P/Wild 2 samples include 10-40 micron-sized, refractory Ca- Al-rich inclusion (CAI)-, chondrule-, and ameboid olivine aggregate (AOA)-like materials. The O isotopic compositions of these refractory materials are remarkably similar to their meteoritic counterparts, ranging from 5 percent enrichments in (sup 16) O to near-terrestrial values. Comet 81P/Wild 2 and CP-IDPs also contain abundant Mg-Fe crystalline and amorphous silicates whose O isotopic compositions are also consistent with Solar System origins. Unlike meteorites, that are dominated by locally-produced materials, comets appear to be composed of

  12. Asteroid 2008 TC3 Breakup and Meteorite Fractions (United States)

    Goodrich, C.; Jenniskens, P.; Shaddad, M. H.; Zolensky, M. E.; Fioretti, A. M.


    The recovery of meteorites from the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3 in the Nubian Desert of Sudan on October 7, 2008, marked the first time meteorites were collected from an asteroid observed in space by astronomical techniques before impacting. Search teams from the University of Khartoum traced the location of the strewn field and collected about 660 meteorites in four expeditions to the fall region, all of which have known fall coordinates. Upon further study, the Almahata Sitta meteorites proved to be a mixed bag of mostly ureilites (course grained, fine grained, and sulfide-metal assemblages), enstatite chondrites (EL3-6, EH3, EH5, breccias) and ordinary chondrites (H5-6, L4-5). One bencubbinite-like carbonaceous chondrite was identified, as well as one unique Rumuruti-like chondrite and an Enstatite achondrite. New analysis: The analysed meteorites so far suggest a high 30-40 percent fraction of non-ureilites among the recovered samples, but that high fraction does not appear to be in agreement with the meteorites in the University of Khartoum (UoK) collection. Ureilites dominate the meteorites that were recovered by the Sudanese teams. To better understand the fraction of recovered materials that fell to Earth, a program has been initiated to type the meteorites in the UoK collection in defined search areas. At this meeting, we will present some preliminary results from that investigation.

  13. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014 (United States)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.


    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  14. Principles of meteoritics

    CERN Document Server

    Krinov, E L


    Principles of Meteoritics examines the significance of meteorites in relation to cosmogony and to the origin of the planetary system. The book discusses the science of meteoritics and the sources of meteorites. Scientists study the morphology of meteorites to determine their motion in the atmosphere. The scope of such study includes all forms of meteorites, the circumstances of their fall to earth, their motion in the atmosphere, and their orbits in space. Meteoric bodies vary in sizes; in calculating their motion in interplanetary space, astronomers apply the laws of Kepler. In the region of

  15. Kosice meteorite analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitek, J.; Degmova, J.; Dekan, J.


    Meteorite Kosice fell down 28 th of February 2010 near the Kosice and represents an unique find, because the last fall of meteorite was observed in Slovakia at the year 1895. It supposes that for this kind of meteorite the orbit in cosmic space could be calculated. This is one of most important part because until now 13 places of meteorite find are known in the world of which cosmic orbit in space have been calculated. Slovakia is member of international bolide net, dealing with meteorite analysis in Middle Europe .Analysis of Kosice meteorite will also concern at the long live and short live nuclides. Results should be a contribution to determination of radiation and formative ages. From structural analysis of meteorite it will be possible to compare it with similar types of meteorites. In this work Moessbauer spectroscopy will be used for phase analysis from point of view iron contain components with the aim to identify magnetic and non magnetic fractions. From the analysis of magnetic part we can find that the first sextet with hyperfine magnetic field 33.5 T corresponds to bcc Fe-Ni alloy (kamacite) and second with field 31.5 T to FeS (triolite). Meteorites with mentioned composition belong to the mineral group of chondrites. Comparing our parameters with results of measurements at the similar meteorites we can conclude that Kosice meteorite contains the same components. According all Moessbauer parameters we can also include this meteorite in the mineral group of chondrites. (authors)


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzarello, Sandra, E-mail: [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85018-1604 (United States)


    HCN is ubiquitous in extraterrestrial environments and is central to current theories on the origin of early solar system organic compounds such as amino acids. These compounds, observed in carbonaceous meteorites, were likely important in the origin and/or evolution of early life. As part of our attempts to understand the origin(s) of meteoritic CN{sup –}, we have analyzed the {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N isotopic composition of HCN gas released from water extracts of the Murchison meteorite and found its value to be near those of the terrestrial atmosphere. The findings, when evaluated viz-a-viz molecular abundances and isotopic data of meteoritic organic compounds, suggest that HCN formation could have occurred during the protracted water alteration processes known to have affected the mineralogy of many asteroidal bodies during their solar residence. This was an active synthetic stage, which likely involved simple gasses, organic molecules, their presolar precursors, as well as mineral catalysts and would have lead to the formation of molecules of differing isotopic composition, including some with solar values.

  17. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.


    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  18. The Organic Content of the Tagish Lake Meteorite (United States)

    Pizzarello, Sandra; Huang, Yongsong; Becker, Luann; Poreda, Robert J.; Nieman, Ronald A.; Cooper, George; Williams, Michael


    The Tagish Lake meteorite felt last year on a frozen take in Canada and may provide the most pristine material of its kind. Analyses have now shown this carbonaceous chondrite to contain a suite of soluble organic compounds (approximately 100 parts per million) that includes mono- and dicarboxylic acids, dicarboximides, pyridine carboxylic acids, a sulfonic acid, and both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. The insoluble carbon exhibits exclusive aromatic character, deuterium enrichment, and fullerenes containing 'planetary' helium and argon. The findings provide insight into an outcome of early solar chemical evolution that differs from any seen so far in meteorites.

  19. COMET concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.


    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  20. Barium isotopes in Allende meteorite - Evidence against an extinct superheavy element (United States)

    Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.; Shimamura, T.; Lugmair, G. W.


    Carbon and chromite fractions from the Allende meteorite that contain isotopically anomalous xenon-131 to xenon-136 (carbonaceous chondrite fission or CCF xenon) at up to 5 x 10 to the 11th atoms per gram show no detectable isotopic anomalies in barium-130 to barium-138. This rules out the possibility that the CCF xenon was formed by in situ fission of an extinct superheavy element. Apparently the CCF xenon and its carbonaceous carrier are relics from stellar nucleosynthesis.

  1. Coordinated In Situ Analyses of Organic Nanoglobules in the Sutter's Mill Meteorite (United States)

    Nakamura--Messenger, K.; Messenger, S.; Keller, L. P.; Clemett, S. J.; Nguyen, A. N.; Gibson, E. K.


    The Sutter s Mill meteorite is a newly fallen carbonaceous chondrite that was collected and curated quickly after its fall [1]. Preliminary petrographic and isotopic investigations suggest affinities to the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites. The primitive nature of this meteorite and its rapid recovery provide an opportunity to investigate primordial solar system organic matter in a unique new sample. Organic matter in primitive meteorites and chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP IDPs) is commonly enriched in D/H and N-15/N-14 relative to terrestrial values [2-4]. These anomalies are ascribed to the partial preservation of presolar cold molecular cloud material [2]. Some meteorites and IDPs contain gm-size inclusions with extreme H and N isotopic anomalies [3-5], possibly due to preserved primordial organic grains. The abundance and isotopic composition of C in Sutter's Mill were found to be similar to the Tagish Lake meteorite [6]. In the Tagish Lake meteorite, the principle carriers of large H and N isotopic anomalies are sub-micron hollow organic spherules known as organic nanoglobules [7]. Organic nanoglobules are commonly distributed among primitive meteorites [8, 9] and cometary samples [10]. Here we report in-situ analyses of organic nano-globules in the Sutter's Mill meteorite using UV fluorescence imaging, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), NanoSIMS, and ultrafast two-step laser mass spectrometry (ultra-L2MS).

  2. COMET concept; COMET-Konzept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.


    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  3. A Propensity for n-omega-Amino Acids in Thermally-Altered Antarctic Meteorites (United States)

    Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Callahan, Michael P.; Martin, Mildred G.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Johnson, Natasha M.; Dworkin, Jason P.


    Carbonaceous meteorites are known to contain a wealth of indigenous organic molecules, including amino acids, which suggests that these meteorites could have been an important source of prebiotic organic material during the origins of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere. We report the detection of extraterrestrial amino acids in thermally-altered type 3 CV and CO carbonaceous chondrites and ureilites recovered from Antarctica. The amino acid concentrations of the thirteen Antarctic meteorites were generally less abundant than in more amino acid-rich CI, CM, and CR carbonaceous chondrites that experienced much lower temperature aqueous alteration on their parent bodies. In contrast to low-temperature aqueously-altered meteorites that show complete structural diversity in amino acids formed predominantly by Strecker-cyanohydrin synthesis, the thermally-altered meteorites studied here are dominated by small, straight-chain, amine terminal (n-omega-amino) amino acids that are not consistent with Strecker formation. The carbon isotopic ratios of two extraterrestrial n-omega-amino acids measured in one of the CV chondrites are consistent with C-13-depletions observed previously in hydrocarbons produced by Fischer-Tropsch type reactions. The predominance of n-omega-amino acid isomers in thermally-altered meteorites hints at cosmochemical mechanisms for the preferential formation and preservation of a small subset of the possible amino acids.

  4. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres (United States)

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    Studies of element abundances and values of D/H in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Titan have emphasized the important role of icy planetesimals in the formation of these bodies. In these atmospheres, C/H and D/H increase as the relative masses of the 'cores' of the planets increase. N/H appears to deviate from this trend in an interesting way. In the inner solar system, the traditional approach of using carbonaceous chondrites as the source of planetary volatiles is in serious trouble because of the depletion of xenon and the unusual pattern of xenon isotopes found in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, and because of the solar-type abundance ratios of argon, krypton and xenon and the large amounts of neon and argon on Venus. Recent studies of elemental abundances in comets, especially P/Halley, coupled with laboratory studies of the trapping of gas in ice formed at low temperatures by A. Bar-Nun et al. provide a consistent interpretation of all of these results. This interpretation emphasizes the fundamental importance of icy planetesimals (comets) and the randomness of early impacts in the formation of planetary systems. Cometary delivery by itself will not explain the noble gas abundances on the inner planets. There is good evidence for at least one additional source, which presumably consists of the rocky material making up the bulk of the planets. The existence of this rocky reservoir is manifested in the nucleogenic isotopes and in the neon which is found in all these atmospheres and is also present in the Earth's mantle. This neon may well be a relic of the planets' earliest, accretional atmospheres.

  5. Comet formation (United States)

    Blum, J.


    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  6. Search for fullerenes in stone meteorites (United States)

    Oester, M. Y.; Kuechl, D.; Sipiera, P. P.; Welch, C. J.


    The possibility of identifying fullerenes in stony meteorites became apparent from a paper given by Radicati de Brozolo. In this paper it was reported that fullerenes were present in the debris resulting from a collision between a micrometeoroid and an orbiting satellite. This fact generated sufficient curiosity to initiate a search for the presence of fullerenes in various stone meteorites. In the present study seven ordinary chondrites (al-Ghanim L6 (find), Dimmitt H4 (find), Lazbuddie LL5 (find), New Concord H5 (fall), Silverton H4 (find), Springlake L6 (find), and Umbarger L3/6 (find)). Four carbonaceous chondrites (ALH 83100 C2 (find), ALH 83108 C30 (find), Allende CV3 (fall), and Murchison CM2 (fall), and one achondrite (Monticello How (find)) were analyzed for the presence of fullerenes. The analytical procedure employed was as follows: 100 mg of meteorite was ground up with a mortar and pestle; 10 mL of toluene was then added and the mixture was refluxed for 90 min; this mixture was then filtered through a short column of silica; a 50 microliter sample was then analyzed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) using a Buckyclutcher I column with a mobile phase consisting of equal volumes of toluene and hexane at a flow rate of 1.00 mg per minute, with detection at 330 and 600 nm. Three of the meteorites, Allende, Murchison, and al-Ghanim, gave HPLC traces containing peaks with similar retention times to the HPLC trace of an authentic fullerene C60. However, further analysis using an HPLC instrument equipped with a diode-array detector failed to confirm any of the substances detected in the three meteorites as C60. Additional analyses will be conducted to identify what the HPLC traces actually represent.

  7. Evidence for extreme Ti-50 enrichments in primitive meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fahey, A.; Mckeegan, K.D.; Zinner, E.; Goswami, J.N.; Physical Research Lab., Ahmedabad, India)


    The results of the first high mass resolution ion microprobe study of Ti isotopic compositions in individual refractory grains from primitive carbonaceous meteorites are reported. One hibonite from the Murray carbonaceous chondrite has a 10 percent excess of Ti-50, 25 times higher than the maximum value previously reported for bulk samples of refractory inclusions from carbonaceous chondrites. The variation of the Ti compositions between different hibonite grains, and among pyroxenes from a single Allende refractory inclusion, indicates isotopic inhomogeneities over small scale lengths in the solar nebula and emphasizes the importance of the analysis of small individual phases. This heterogeneity makes it unlikely that the isotopic anomalies were carried into the solar system in the gas phase. 20 references

  8. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn


    This newsletter contains something for everyone! It lists classifications of about 440 meteorites mostly from the 1997 and 1998 ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) seasons. It also gives descriptions of about 45 meteorites of special petrologic type. These include 1 iron, 17 chondrites (7 CC, 1 EC, 9 OC) and 27 achondrites (25 HED, UR). Most notable are an acapoloite (GRA98028) and an olivine diogenite (GRA98108).

  9. Quantitative FT-IR Analysis for Chondritic Meteorites: Search for C_60 in Meteorites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunglee Kim


    Full Text Available Infrared absorption spectra of 9 bulk samples and 3 acid residues of meteorites were obtained in the mid-infrared region (4000 ~ 400 cm^(-1. From the known composition of meteorites studied, the possible absorption modes were investigated. Most bands of bulk samples occur in the region below 1200 cm^(-1 and they are due to metallic oxides and silicates. The spectra of each group can be distinguished by its own characteristic bands. Acid residues show very distinct features from their bulk samples, and absorption bands due to organic compounds are not evident in their spectra. Quantitative analyses for two carbonaceous (Allende CV3 and Murchison CM2 and one ordinary (Carraweena L3.9 chondrites were performed for the presence of fullerene (C_60 in the meteorites. We calculated the concentration of C_60 in the acid residues by curvefitting the spectra with Gaussian functions. The upper limit of C_60 concentration in these meteorites appears to be less than an order of a few hundred ppm.

  10. Carbonaceous material treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trevor, S R


    To separate and collect for use the component parts of carbonaceous materials, they are fed to superimposed connected vertical or substantially vertical chambers, located over a furnace, the flue gases from which pass to space or spaces of a casing surrounding the superimposed chambers. Pipes are provided so that part or whole of the gases may be passed through the chambers. Take-off pipes are connected to expansion chambers, through which the gases pass to condenser coils and separating tanks.

  11. Treating carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbett, R L; Corbett, E G


    A process is given for the production of aliphatic compounds by heat treatment of carbonaceous material. The latter are impregnated with a dilute solution of a catalyst, such as chromium copper or nickel acetate or nitrate, or ammonium or urea acetate and subjected to destructive distillation in a retort in the presence of a reducing gas and steam, at a pressure not greater than fifteen atmospheres.

  12. Distilling carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Griffiths, C A


    In apparatus of the kind set forth for distilling solid carbonaceous materials, a rotary retort in the form of a tubular, hollow cylindrical, or other similar hollow body, of small diameter, having a thin wall is provided to which the heat is applied externally, with means operative within it adapted, not only for cleaning the internal wall of the retort but also for distributing the heat throughout the mass of materials under treatment, substantially as described.

  13. Wet, Carbonaceous Asteroids: Altering Minerals, Changing Amino Acids (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.


    Many carbonaceous chondrites contain alteration products from water-rock interactions at low temperature and organic compounds. A fascinating fact known for decades is the presence in some of them of an assortment of organic compounds, including amino acids, sometimes called the building blocks of life. Murchison and other CM carbonaceous chondrites contain hundreds of amino acids. Early measurements indicated that the amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites had equal proportions of L- and D-structures, a situation called racemic. This was in sharp contrast to life on Earth, which heavily favors L- forms. However, beginning in 1997, John Cronin and Sandra Pizzarello (Arizona State University) found L- excesses in isovaline and several other amino acids in the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite. In 2009, Daniel Glavin and Jason Dworkin (Astrobiology Analytical Lab, Goddard Space Flight Center) reported the first independent confirmation of L-isovaline excesses in Murchison using a different analytical technique than employed by Cronin and Pizzarello. Inspired by this work, Daniel Glavin, Michael Callahan, Jason Dworkin, and Jamie Elsila (Astrobiology Analytical Lab, Goddard Space Flight Center), have done an extensive study of the abundance and symmetry of amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites that experienced a range of alteration by water in their parent asteroids. The results show that amino acids are more abundant in the less altered meteorites, implying that aqueous processing changes the mix of amino acids. They also confirmed the enrichment in L-structures of some amino acids, especially isovaline, confirming earlier work. The authors suggest that aqueously-altered planetesimals might have seeded the early Earth with nonracemic amino acids, perhaps explaining why life from microorganisms to people use only L- forms to make proteins. The initial imbalance caused by non-biologic processes in wet asteroids might have been amplified by life on Earth. Alternatively

  14. Asteroid/meteorite streams (United States)

    Drummond, J.

    The independent discovery of the same three streams (named alpha, beta, and gamma) among 139 Earth approaching asteroids and among 89 meteorite producing fireballs presents the possibility of matching specific meteorites to specific asteroids, or at least to asteroids in the same stream and, therefore, presumably of the same composition. Although perhaps of limited practical value, the three meteorites with known orbits are all ordinary chondrites. To identify, in general, the taxonomic type of the parent asteroid, however, would be of great scientific interest since these most abundant meteorite types cannot be unambiguously spectrally matched to an asteroid type. The H5 Pribram meteorite and asteroid 4486 (unclassified) are not part of a stream, but travel in fairly similar orbits. The LL5 Innisfree meteorite is orbitally similar to asteroid 1989DA (unclassified), and both are members of a fourth stream (delta) defined by five meteorite-dropping fireballs and this one asteroid. The H5 Lost City meteorite is orbitally similar to 1980AA (S type), which is a member of stream gamma defined by four asteroids and four fireballs. Another asteroid in this stream is classified as an S type, another is QU, and the fourth is unclassified. This stream suggests that ordinary chondrites should be associated with S (and/or Q) asteroids. Two of the known four V type asteroids belong to another stream, beta, defined by five asteroids and four meteorite-dropping (but unrecovered) fireballs, making it the most probable source of the eucrites. The final stream, alpha, defined by five asteroids and three fireballs is of unknown composition since no meteorites have been recovered and only one asteroid has an ambiguous classification of QRS. If this stream, or any other as yet undiscovered ones, were found to be composed of a more practical material (e.g., water or metalrich), then recovery of the associated meteorites would provide an opportunity for in-hand analysis of a potential

  15. The Enantiomeric Ratios of Meteoritic Organic Compounds: Their Possible Roles in the Origin of Life (United States)

    Cooper, George


    This talk will give an overview of the enantiomer (mirror-image) ratios of organic compounds in meteorites and also describe the results of the present work in my lab. The primary focus will be on sugar derivatives (sugar acids) of carbonaceous meteorites. Our work begins to address questions associated with chirality, i.e., the origins of homochirality. On Earth, biological monomers (amino acids, sugars, etc.) are usually found with one of the enantiomers more abundant than the other. However, biological polymers (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.) are only composed of one enantiomer i.e., they are homochiral. There are hints in meteorites that some organic molecules may also exist in homochiral forms. The talk will address questions such as: did extraterrestrial sources aid in the beginning of this homochirality? Do the increasing size and apparent enantiomer excesses of some meteoritic compounds also extend to larger meteoritic compounds and polymers?

  16. Foundations of Forensic Meteoritics (United States)

    Treiman, A. H.


    It may be useful to know if a meteorite was found at the site where it fell. For instance, the polymict ureilites North Haig and Nilpena were found 1100 km apart, yet are petrologically identical [1]. Could this distance represent transport from a single strewn field, or does it represent distinct fall sites? A meteorite may contain sufficient clues to suggest some characteristics of its fall site. If these inferences are inconsistent with the find site, one may infer that the meteorite has been transported. It will likely be impossible to determine the exact fall site of a transported meteorite. Data relevant to a meteorite's fall site may be intrinsic to the meteorite, or acquired at the site. For instance, an intrinsic property is terrestrial residence age (from abundances of cosmogenic radioisotopes and their decay products); a meteorite's terrestrial residence age must be the same or less than that of the surface on which it fell. After falling, a meteorite may acquire characteristic telltales of terrestrial geological, geochemical, and biological processes. These telltale clues may include products of chemical weathering, adhering geological materials, biological organisms living (or once living) on the meteorite, and biological materials adhering to (but never living on) the meteorite. The effects of chemical weathering, present in all but the freshest finds, range from slight rusting to extensive decomposition and veining The ages of weathering materials and veins, as with terrestrial residence ages above, must be less than the age of the fall surface. The mineralogy and chemistry, elemental and isotopic, of weathering materials will differ according to the mineralogy and composition of the meteorite, and the mineralogy, geochemistry, hydrology, and climate of the fall site. Weathering materials may also vary as climate changes and may vary among the microenvironments associated with a meteorite on the Earth's surface. Geological materials (rock, sediment

  17. Magnetism in meteorites (United States)

    Herndon, J. M.; Rowe, M. W.


    An overview is presented of magnetism in meteorites. A glossary of magnetism terminology followed by discussion of the various techniques used for magnetism studies in meteorites are included. The generalized results from use of these techniques by workers in the field are described. A brief critical analysis is offered.

  18. Biomarkers and Microfossils in the Murchison, Rainbow, and Tagish Lake meteorites (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Jerman, Gregory A.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.; Davies, Paul C.


    During the past six years, we have conducted extensive scanning electron and optical microscopy investigations and x-ray analysis to determine the morphology, life cycle processes, and elemental distributions in living and fossil cyanobacteria, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae sampled from terrestrial environments relevant to Astrobiology. Biominerals, pseudomorphs and microfossils have been studied for diverse microbial groups in various states of preservation in many types of rocks (e.g., oil shales, graphites, shungites, bauxites, limestones, pyrites, phosphorites, and hydrothermal vent chimneys). Results of these studies have been applied to the search for biosignatures in carbonaceous chondrites, stony, and nickel iron meteorites. We review important biomarkers found in terrestrial rocks and meteorites and present additional evidence for the existence of indigenous bacterial microfossils in-situ in freshly fractured surfaces of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake carbonaceous meteorites. We provide secondary and backscatter electron images and spectral data obtained with Field Emission and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopes of biominerals and microfossils. We discuss techniques for discriminating indigenous microfossils from recent terrestrial contaminants. Images are provided of framboidal magnetites in oil shales and meteorites and images and 2D x-ray maps are shown of bacterial microfossils embedded in the mineral matrix of the Murchison, Rainbow and Tagish Lake Carbonaceous Meteorites. These microfossils exhibit characteristics that preclude their interpretation as post-arrival contaminants and we interpret them as indigenous biogenic remains.

  19. Treating carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pier, M


    To separate the constituents or conversion products, which are liquid or which liquefy when heated, from solid distillable carbonaceous materials such as coals, oil shales, or other bituminous substances, the initial materials are subjected to a destructive hydrogenation under mild conditions so that the formation of benzines is substantially avoided, after which the material is subjected to an extraction treatment with solvents. The constituents of high boiling point range, suitable for the production of lubricating oils and solid paraffins, obtained by the said destructive hydrogenation are separated off before or/and after the said extraction treatment.

  20. Distilling carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trumble, M J


    Carbonaceous materials such as coal, oil shale, peat, or wood are destructively distilled while being subjected to the action of superheated steam and hydrogen, the latter being provided by dissociating a part of the superheated steam. The materials are charged into a retort heated by a burner and superheated steam and hydrogen are passed in by a pipe and nozzles. The distillates enter a dust extractor through openings and escape through openings shielded by cones into an outlet pipe leading to condensers. The dust which settles in the bottom of the apparatus is periodically removed.

  1. Remote comets and related bodies - VJHK colorimetry and surface materials (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Degewij, J.


    VJHK colors for a number of asteroids and eight comets at various solar distances and levels of activity were obtained, and the observations are interpreted in terms of a two-component mixing model in which outer solar system interplanetary bodies are viewed as mixtures of ice and dark carbonaceous-type (RD and C) dirt. It is inferred that the observed comets have comae, and perhaps surfaces, of dirty ice or ice dirt grains colored by an RD-dirt component. This inference is supported by systematics of an 'alpha index' based on VJHK colors and empirically correlated with albedo and ice/dirt ratio. Among comets the alpha index correlates with solar distance in a way that suggests comets emit dirty ice grains which are stable at large solar distance but from which the ice component sublimes and leaves dirt grains at small solar distance.

  2. NMR studies of chemical structural variation of insoluble organic matter from different carbonaceous chondrite groups (United States)

    Cody, George D.; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.


    Solid-state 1H and 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopic experiments have been performed on isolated meteoritic Insoluble Organic Matter (IOM) spanning four different carbonaceous chondrite meteorite groups; a CR2 (EET92042), a CI1 (Orgueil), a CM2 (Murchison), and the unique C2 meteorite, Tagish Lake. These solid state NMR experiments reveal considerable variation in bulk organic composition across the different meteorite group's IOM. The fraction of aromatic carbon increases as CR2 meteorite groups. Single pulse (SP) 13C magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR experiments reveal the presence of nanodiamonds with an apparent concentration ranking in the IOM of CR2 IOM of all four meteoritic IOM fractions are highly substituted. Fast spinning SP 1H MAS NMR spectral data combined with other NMR experimental data reveal that the average hydrogen content of sp 3 bonded carbon functional groups is low, requiring a high degree of aliphatic chain branching in each IOM fraction. The variation in chemistry across the meteorite groups is consistent with alteration by low temperature chemical oxidation. It is concluded that such chemistry principally affected the aliphatic moieties whereas the aromatic moieties and nanodiamonds may have been largely unaffected.

  3. Allochthonous Addition of Meteoritic Organics to the Lunar Regolith (United States)

    Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S.; Ross, D. K.; Le, L.; Rahman, Z.; McKay, D. S.; Gibson, E. K.; Gonzalez, C.


    Preparation of lunar samples 74220,861 was discussed in detail in [3, 4]. Our analysis sequence was as follows: optical microscopy, UV fluorescence imaging, -Raman, FESEM-EDX imaging and mapping, FETEMEDX imaging and mapping of a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) extracted section, and NanoSIMs analysis. We observed fluffytextured C-rich regions of interest (ROI) on three different volcanic glass beads. Each ROI was several m2 in size and fluoresced when exposed to UV. Using FESEM/EDX, the largest ROI measured 36 m and was located on an edge of a plateau located on the uppermost surface of the bead. The ROI was covered on one edge by a siliceous filament emanating from the plateau surface indicating it was attached to the bead while on the Moon. EDX mapping of the ROI shows it is composed primarily of heterogeneously distributed C. Embedded with the carbonaceous phase are localized concentrations of Si, Fe, Al and Ti indicating the presence of glass and/or minerals grains. -Raman showed strong D- and G-bands and their associated second order bands; intensity and location of these bands indicates the carbonaceous matter is structurally disorganized. A TEM thin section was extracted from the surface of a glass bead using FIB microscopy. High resolution TEM imaging and selected area electron diffraction demonstrate the carbonaceous layer to be amorphous; it lacked any long or short range order characteristic of micro- or nanocrystalline graphite. Additionally TEM imaging also revealed the presence of submicron mineral grains, typically < 50 nm in size, dispersed within the carbonaceous layer. NanoSIMs data will be presented and discussed at the meeting. Given the noted similarities between the carbonaceous matter present on 74220 glass beads and meteoritic kerogen, we suggest the allochthonous addition of meteoritic organics as the most probable source for the C-rich ROIs.

  4. Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in the Almahata Sitta Meteorite (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Aubrey, Andrew D.; Callahan, Michael P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Parker, Eric T.; Bada, Jeffrey L.


    Amino acid analysis of a meteorite fragment of asteroid 2008 TC3 called Almahata Sitta was carried out using reverse-phase liquid chromatography coupled with UV fluorescence detection and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-FD/ToF-MS) as part of a sample analysis consortium. LC-FD/ToF-MS analyses of hot-water extracts from the meteorite revealed a complex distribution of two- to seven-carbon aliphatic amino acids and one- to three-carbon amines with abundances ranging from 0.5 to 149 parts-per-billion (ppb). The enantiomeric ratios of the amino acids alanine, R-amino-n-butyric acid (beta-ABA), 2-amino-2-methylbutanoic acid (isovaline), and 2-aminopentanoic acid (norvaline) in the meteorite were racemic (D/L approximately 1), indicating that these amino acids are indigenous to the meteorite and not terrestrial contaminants. Several other non-protein amino acids were also identified in the meteorite above background levels including alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (alpha-AIB), 4-amino-2- methylbutanoic acid, 4-amino-3-methylbutanoic acid, and 3-, 4-, and 5-aminopentanoic acid. The total abundances of isovaline and alpha-AIB in Almahata Sitta are 1000 times lower than the abundances of these amino acids found in the CM carbonaceous chondrite Murchison. The extremely low abundances and unusual distribution of five carbon amino acids in Almahata Sitta compared to Cl, CM, and CR carbonaceous chondrites may reflect extensive thermal alteration of amino acids on the parent asteroid by partial melting during formation or subsequent impact shock heating. It is also possible that amino acids were synthesized by catalytic reactions on the parent body after asteroid 2008 TC3 cooled to lower temperatures.

  5. Meteorite falls in Africa (United States)

    Khiri, Fouad; Ibhi, Abderrahmane; Saint-Gerant, Thierry; Medjkane, Mohand; Ouknine, Lahcen


    The study of meteorites provides insight into the earliest history of our solar system. From 1800, about the year meteorites were first recognized as objects falling from the sky, until December 2014, 158 observed meteorite falls were recorded in Africa. Their collected mass ranges from 1.4 g to 175 kg with the 1-10 kg cases predominant. The average rate of African falls is low with only one fall recovery per 1.35-year time interval (or 0.023 per year per million km2). This African collection is dominated by ordinary chondrites (78%) just like in the worldwide falls. The seventeen achondrites include three Martian meteorite falls (Nakhla of Egypt, Tissint of Morocco and Zagami of Nigeria). Observed Iron meteorite falls are relatively rare and represent only 5%. The falls' rate in Africa is variable in time and in space. The number of falls continues to grow since 1860, 80% of which were recovered during the period between 1910 and 2014. Most of these documented meteorite falls have been recovered from North-Western Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. They are concentrated in countries which have a large surface area and a large population with a uniform distribution. Other factors are also favorable for observing and collecting meteorite falls across the African territory, such as: a genuine meteorite education, a semi-arid to arid climate (clear sky throughout the year most of the time), croplands or sparse grasslands and possible access to the fall location with a low percentage of forest cover and dense road network.

  6. Treating carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelly, T D


    Coal, lignite, shale, peat, or like carbonaceous material is heated at 70 to 300/sup 0/C with an alkaline solution of sodium, potassium, or ammonium oleate and aluminum sulfate is added in order to solidify the oleate. The solid material is separated and molded or shaped or disintegrated for use as a pigment or mixed with rubber or similar compounds such as solidified, oxidized or polymerized oils in making building blocks or tiles, tires, footwear, or other resilient material. It may be distilled with water or steam in a retort to make gas, or in porous condition can be burnt. The liquid products may be subjected to fractional distillation or mixed with bitumen, resin or oils or materials such as clay, red oxide, or barytes to give colour or body in the manufacture of waterproof heatproof dressings which may be made quick-drying by the addition of ammonia, or for mixing with or spreading over stones or on roads or concrete.

  7. Meteorites, Ice, and Antarctica (United States)

    Cassidy, William A.


    Bill Cassidy led meteorite recovery expeditions in the Antarctic for fifteen years and his searches have resulted in the collection of thousands of meteorite specimens from the ice. This personal account of his field experiences on the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites Project reveals the influence the work has had on our understanding of the moon, Mars and the asteroid belt. Cassidy describes the hardships and dangers of fieldwork in a hostile environment, as well as the appreciation he developed for its beauty. William Cassidy is Emeritus Professor of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He initiated the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) nroject and led meteorite recovery expeditions in Antarctica in1976. His name is found attached to a mineral (cassidyite), on the map of Antarctica (Cassidy Glacier), and in the Catalog of Asteroids (3382 Cassidy). Profiled in "American Men of Science," and "Who's Who in America," he is also a recipient of The Antarctic Service Medal from the United States and has published widely in Science, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, and The Journal of Geophysical Research.

  8. Irradiated Benzene Ice Provides Clues to Meteoritic Organic Chemistry (United States)

    Callahan, Michael Patrick; Gerakines, Perry Alexander; Martin, Mildred G.; Hudson, Reggie L.; Peeters, Zan


    Aromatic hydrocarbons account for a significant portion of the organic matter in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, as a component of both the low molecular weight, solvent-extractable compounds and the insoluble organic macromolecular material. Previous work has suggested that the aromatic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites may have originated in the radiation-processed icy mantles of interstellar dust grains. Here we report new studies of the organic residue made from benzene irradiated at 19 K by 0.8 MeV protons. Polyphenyls with up to four rings were unambiguously identified in the residue by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry was used to determine molecular composition, and accurate mass measurements suggested the presence of polyphenyls, partially hydrogenated polyphenyls, and other complex aromatic compounds. The profile of low molecular weight compounds in the residue compared well with extracts from the Murchison and Orgueil meteorites. These results are consistent with the possibility that solid phase radiation chemistry of benzene produced some of the complex aromatics found in meteorites.

  9. Purple Salt and Tiny Drops of Water in Meteorites (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.


    Some meteorites, especially those called carbonaceous chondrites, have been greatly affected by reaction with water on the asteroids in which they formed. These reactions, which took place during the first 10 million years of the Solar System's history, formed assorted water-bearing minerals, but nobody has found any of the water that caused the alteration. Nobody, that is, until now. Michael Zolensky and team of scientists from the Johnson Space Center in Houston and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) discovered strikingly purple sodium chloride (table salt) crystals in two meteorites. The salt contains tiny droplets of salt water (with some other elements dissolved in it). The salt is as old as the Solar System, so the water trapped inside the salt is also ancient. It might give us clues to the nature of the water that so pervasively altered carbonaceous chondrites and formed oceans on Europa and perhaps other icy satellites. However, how the salt got into the two meteorites and how it trapped the water remains a mystery - at least for now.

  10. Nature's starships. I. Observed abundances and relative frequencies of amino acids in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobb, Alyssa K.; Pudritz, Ralph E.


    The class of meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites are examples of material from the solar system which have been relatively unchanged from the time of their initial formation. These meteorites have been classified according to the temperatures and physical conditions of their parent planetesimals. We collate available data on amino acid abundance in these meteorites and plot the concentrations of different amino acids for each meteorite within various meteorite subclasses. We plot average concentrations for various amino acids across meteorites separated by subclass and petrologic type. We see a predominance in the abundance and variety of amino acids in CM2 and CR2 meteorites. The range in temperature corresponding to these subclasses indicates high degrees of aqueous alteration, suggesting aqueous synthesis of amino acids. Within the CM2 and CR2 subclasses, we identify trends in relative frequencies of amino acids to investigate how common amino acids are as a function of their chemical complexity. These two trends (total abundance and relative frequencies) can be used to constrain formation parameters of amino acids within planetesimals. Our organization of the data supports an onion shell model for the temperature structure of planetesimals. The least altered meteorites (type 3) and their amino acids originated near cooler surface regions. The most active amino acid synthesis likely took place at intermediate depths (type 2). The most altered materials (type 1) originated furthest toward parent body cores. This region is likely too hot to either favor amino acid synthesis or for amino acids to be retained after synthesis.

  11. Meteorites and cosmic dust: Interstellar heritage and nebular processes in the early solar system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Engrand C.


    Full Text Available Small solar system bodies like asteroids and comets have escaped planetary accretion. They are the oldest and best preserved witnesses of the formation of the solar system. Samples of these celestial bodies fall on Earth as meteorites and interplanetary dust. The STARDUST mission also recently returned to Earth cometary dust from comet 81P/Wild 2, a Jupiter Family Comet (JFC. These samples provide unique insights on the physico-chemical conditions and early processes of the solar system. They also contain some minute amount of materials inherited from the local interstellar medium that have survived the accretion processes in the solar system.

  12. Oxygen isotopic composition of relict olivine grains in cosmic spherules: Links to chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rudraswami, N.G.; ShyamPrasad, M.; Nagashima, K.; Jones, R.H.

    aluminium rich inclusions (CAIs), amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs), and some porphyritic chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites. These grains appear to have recorded the initial oxygen isotopic composition of the inner solar nebula. Three olivine... to the major components of meteorites such as chondrules and calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs). CAIs, the first solar system objects in the solar nebula, are formed by condensation of refractory minerals at high temperatures. They are 16O...

  13. Evaluation of early Archean volcaniclastic and volcanic flow rocks as possible sites for carbonaceous fossil microbes. (United States)

    Walsh, Maud M


    Sedimentary rocks have traditionally been the focus of the search for Archean microfossils; the Earth's oldest fossil bacteria are associated with carbonaceous matter in sedimentary cherts in greenstone belts in the eastern Pilbara block of Western Australia and Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa. Reports of possible fossils in a martian meteorite composed of igneous rock and the discovery of modern bacteria associated with basalts have stimulated a new look at Archean volcanic rocks as possible sites for fossil microbes. This study examines silicified volcaniclastic rocks, near-surface altered volcanic flow rocks, and associated stromatolite- like structures from the Archean Barberton greenstone belt to evaluate their potential for the preservation of carbonaceous fossils. Detrital carbonaceous particles are widely admixed with current-deposited debris. Carbonaceous matter is also present in altered volcanic flow rocks as sparse particles in silica veins that appear to be fed by overlying carbonaceous chert layers. Neither microfossils nor mat-like material was identified in the altered volcanic rocks or adjacent stromatolite-like structures. Ancient volcanic flow and volcaniclastic rocks are not promising sites for carbonaceous fossil preservation.

  14. Observations of Isotope Fractionation in Prestellar Cores: Interstellar Origin of Meteoritic Hot Spot? (United States)

    Milam, S. N.; Charnley, S. B.


    Isotopically fractionated material is found in many solar system objects, including meteorites and comets. It is thought, in some cases, to trace interstellar material that was incorporated into the solar system without undergoing significant processing. Here, we show the results of models and observations of the nitrogen and carbon fractionation in proto-stellar cores.

  15. Chirality of meteoritic free and IOM-derived monocarboxylic acids and implications for prebiotic organic synthesis (United States)

    Aponte, José C.; Tarozo, Rafael; Alexandre, Marcelo R.; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Charnley, Steven B.; Hallmann, Christian; Summons, Roger E.; Huang, Yongsong


    The origin of homochirality and its role in the development of life on Earth are among the most intriguing questions in science. It has been suggested that carbonaceous chondrites seeded primitive Earth with the initial organic compounds necessary for the origin of life. One of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting this theory is that certain amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites display a significant L-enantiomeric excess (ee), similar to those use by terrestrial life. Analyses of ee in meteoritic molecules other than amino acids would shed more light on the origins of homochirality. In this study we investigated the stereochemistry of two groups of compounds: (1) free monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) from CM2 meteorites LON 94101 and Murchison; and (2) the aliphatic side chains present in the insoluble organic matter (IOM) and extracted in the form of monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) from EET 87770 (CR2) and Orgueil (CI1). Contrary to the well-known ee observed for amino acids in meteorites, we found that meteoritic branched free and IOM-derived MCAs with 5-8 carbon atoms are essentially racemic. The racemic nature of these compounds is used to discuss the possible influence of ultraviolet circularly polarized light (UVCPL) and aqueous alterations on the parent body on chirality observed in in carbonaceous chondrites.

  16. Investigation of carbonates in the Sutter's Mill meteorite grains with hyperspectral infrared imaging micro-spectroscopy (United States)

    Yesiltas, Mehmet


    Synchrotron-based high spatial resolution hyperspectral infrared imaging technique provides thousands of infrared spectra with high resolution, thus allowing us to acquire detailed spatial maps of chemical molecular structures for many grains in short times. Utilizing this technique, thousands of infrared spectra were analyzed at once instead of inspecting each spectrum separately. Sutter's Mill meteorite is a unique carbonaceous type meteorite with highly heterogeneous chemical composition. Multiple grains from the Sutter's Mill meteorite have been studied using this technique and the presence of both hydrous and anhydrous silicate minerals have been observed. It is observed that the carbonate mineralogy varies from simple to more complex carbonates even within a few microns in the meteorite grains. These variations, the type and distribution of calcite-like vs. dolomite-like carbonates are presented by means of hyperspectral FTIR imaging spectroscopy with high resolution. Various scenarios for the formation of different carbonate compositions in the Sutter's Mill parent body are discussed.

  17. Distilling solid carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, H; Laing, B


    In the distillation of solid carbonaceous materials with by-product recovery by direct heating with a gas such as water gas, producer gas, or combustion gas which is passed in counter-flow to the materials, the volume of the gas used is such as to lower the vapor tension of the volatiles to enable the oil vapor to be liberated at temperatures not exceeding 450 to 500/sup 0/C and so that the gaseous mixture may be cooled to from 80 to 100/sup 0/C without causing the highest boiling oil fraction to condense. Coking coals may be subjected to a preliminary heat treatment with gases containing an oxygen content of from 2 to 8 percent to reduce their coking properties, and oxygen may be added to the heating gases to assist the polymerization of resinous bodies. Lubricating oil may be obtained by treating the primary oil with caustic soda to remove tar acids, refining the residue with sulfuric acid, distilling off 25 percent of the refined oil and passing the remainder through a filter press at -5/sup 0/C to extract the paraffin wax. The residue of wax-free oil is distilled to yield a lubricating oil which at normal temperatures has a static coefficient of friction of from .1 to .185. Other specifications are referred to.

  18. Distilling solid carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, H; Laing, B


    In a process of distilling solid carbonaceous materials with by-product recovery, the time factor and the temperature gradient during the distillation period are so controlled that a temperature difference exceeding 150/sup 0/C is avoided between the temperatures at the center and periphery of any suitable size of material or thickness of fuel bed. The material is heated by direct contact with an inert gas, such as water gas, producer gas, or combustion gases, which is passed in counterflow to the material and whose volume is such as to lower the vapor tension or partial pressure of the volatilizable oils and to withdraw the oils without cracking of the oil vapors. The material may be subjected to a preliminary heat treatment by gases containing 2 to 3 percent of free oxygen to reduce its coking properties, and free oxygen may be added either to the heating gases during the heat treatment, or to the retort and heating gases and vapors to polymerize resinous bodies prior to condensation or during condensation and while the oils are still wholly or partially in the vapor state.

  19. Distilling carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garrow, J R


    To obtain an increased yield of by-products such as oils, ammonia, and gas from coal, oil shale, wood, peat, and the like by low and medium temperature processes, the requisite quantity of hot producer gas from a gas producer, is caused to travel, without ignition, through the material as it passes in a continuous manner through the retort so that the sensible heat of the producer gas is utilized to produce distillation of the carbonaceous material, the gases passing to a condenser, absorption apparatus, and an ammonia absorber respectively. In a two-stage method of treatment of materials such as peat or the like, separate supplies of producer gas are utilized for a preliminary drying operation and for the distillation of the material, the drying receptacle and the retort being joined together to render the process continuous. The gas from the drying receptacle may be mixed with the combined producer and retort gas from the retort, after the hydrocarbon oils have deen removed therefrom.

  20. Distillation of carbonaceous material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ainscow, J W.H.


    To recover hydrocarbon products by distillation of carbonaceous material in a plurality of horizontal zones maintained at different temperatures, a retort has a plurality of superimposed (3) retort chambers, the uppermost being in communication at one end with a hopper and at the other end through coupled junction not shown with one end of the next lower chamber, whose opposite end communicates with lowermost chamber, the other end of which has a sealed discharge passage, tank, and conveyor not shown. Each retort chamber has stirring and conveying means consisting of helical blades (2) attached to radial arms on shaft mounted in water cooled bearings and driven through suitably mounted sprocket wheels and chains not shown. Each retort chamber has a gas dome, with pyrometer tube, and off-take connected to a common main opening into a dust eliminator which in turn connects with a plurality of vertical condensation towers of known construction, maintained at different temperatures by means of steam from a superheater not shown situated in one retort chamber. The retort heating gases pass from the furnace via zig-zag, (three) baffles under and around each retort chamber to a flue not shown.

  1. Distilling carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ironside, T G


    In the distillation of carbonaceous material such as shale, coal, lignite, wood or liquid hydrocarbons, the material is mixed with a heated granular substance such as sand which supplies the necessary heat. The shale or the like, which may be preheated, is fed from a hopper by a worm conveyer to a tube leading into a retort, and the heated granular material such as sand is supplied from a jacketed container through a tube. On the lower end of a rotary shaft are radial arms to which are fixed angularly disposed blades which serve to mix the shale and hot sand and deliver the residue to a central discharge pipe closed at the bottom by a conical valve which opens when the weight of the superimposed material is sufficient. The distillates are taken off by an outlet. Steam vapor or gas may be supplied to the retort, preferably through a hollow shaft leading to hollow stirrers perforated to permit of the gas passing into the material. The retort may be externally heated by hot gases in the space surrounding the retort, and the latter may be divided by horizontal floors so that the material is caused to funnel from the periphery to the center of the floor, then through a central opening on to the floor next below, and from the center to the periphery of this floor, and so on.

  2. Disintegration of comet nuclei (United States)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.


    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies.

  3. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S


    The study of Comet Halley in 1986 was a tremendous success for cometary science. In March of that year, six spacecrafts passed through Comet Halley as close as 600 km from the nucleus and made the in situ measurements of various kinds. These space missions to Comet Halley and that of the ICE spacecraft to Comet Giacobini-Zinner combined with studies, both ground-based and above the atmosphere, have increased our knowledge of cometary science in a dramatic way.This new edition of Physics of Comets incorporates these new and exciting findings. The emphasis of the book is on the physical processe

  4. Chemical Structure of Insoluble Organic Matter of Meteorites (United States)

    Derenne, S.; Robert, F.; Binet, L.; Gourier, D.; Rouzaud, J.-N.; Largeau, C.

    A detailed knowledge of the insoluble organic matter (IOM) of the meteorites is essential to estimate to what extent the interstellar organic matter was preserved during the formation of the solar system and to decipher the synthetic pathways of this matter in space. Although predominant, the insoluble organic fraction has been much less extensively studied than soluble one due to specific analytical difficulties. The present work reports the examination of the IOM of two carbonaceous meteorites, Orgueil and Murchison through a number of various spectroscopic and microscopic methods, i. e. XANES for sulphur, carbon and nitrogen, solid state 13C NMR, electron paramagnetic resonance, electron nuclear double resonance and high resolution transmission electron microscopy.

  5. The common property of isotope anomalies in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robert, F.


    The treatment proposed to account for the non-mass-dependent isotopic fractionation effect observed for oxygen isotopes during the synthesis of ozone (Robert and Camy-Peyret 2001) is applied to other chemical elements. A numerical treatment to calculate isotopic reaction rate ratios is proposed. This treatment yields non-mass-dependent isotopic effects in other chemical elements, qualitatively similar to those observed in some of the high temperature minerals found in the carbonaceous meteorites. This treatment may reflect the numerical consequences of an unrecognized quantum mechanical effect, linked to a property of chemical reactions involving indistinguishable isotopes. (author)

  6. Photochemistry of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, W.F.


    The classification of comets, chemically rich mixtures of volatile materials and refractory grains, is described. The developments of coma and tails, and the composition and structure of coma, plasma tails, dust, and nucleus are examined. The differences between comets and planetary atmospheres are investigated. Three hypotheses on the origin of comets are proposed; one states that comets formed in the region of the giant planets, the second theory has the development of comets occuring in the outer parts of the solar nebula, and the third states that comets formed in a companion fragment of the nebula. The use of radar, photometric, spectral, and laboratory measurements for modeling comets is discussed. The physics and main photolytic and chemical reaction processes of a collision-dominated coma are analyzed; the influence of the solar wind on the coma is studied. A comparison of the model with observed data is presented; good correlation of data is observed. The features of Halley's Comet and other comets with distinctive characteristics are examined. Future comet exploration missions and the need to improve comet models are discussed. 31 references

  7. Visually observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J


    In these days of computers and CCD cameras, visual comet observers can still contribute scientifically useful data with the help of this handy reference for use in the field. Comets are one of the principal areas for productive pro-amateur collaboration in astronomy, but finding comets requires a different approach than the observing of more predictable targets. Principally directed toward amateur astronomers who prefer visual observing or who are interested in discovering a new comet or visually monitoring the behavior of known comets, it includes all the advice needed to thrive as a comet observer. After presenting a brief overview of the nature of comets and how we came to the modern understanding of comets, this book details the various types of observations that can usefully be carried out at the eyepiece of a telescope. Subjects range from how to search for new comets to visually estimating the brightness of comets and the length and orientation of tails, in addition to what to look for in comet heads a...

  8. Mission to the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.


    The plans of space agencies in the United States and Europe for an exploratory comet mission including a one year rendezvous with comet Temple-2 and a fast fly-by of comet Halley are discussed. The mission provides an opportunity to make comparative measurements on the two different types of comets and also satisfies the three major scientific objectives of cometary missions namely: (1) To determine the chemical nature and the physical structure of cometary nuclei, and the changes that occur with time and orbital position. (2) To study the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes that occur in them, and their development with time and orbital position. (3) To determine the nature of the tails of comets and the processes by which they are formed, and to characterise the interaction of comets with solar wind. (UK)

  9. Meteoritics, Number 19 (United States)


    266, 1958. 131. Houziaux, L., Spectres d’absorption infra-rouge de quelques verres naturels entr 2 et 24 microns (Infrared Absorption Spectra of...Taking Pb20L’ 1), Given as a Function of Time. reteorites was made in a work by M. M. Shats (Ref. 10). M. M. Shats de - termined the uranium and lead...billion years. Table 6. Age, l09 Type of Data of Published Meteorite Years Meteorite Source, Investi- gator Kashin 3.00 Chondrite 1951 (Ref. 14), E.K

  10. Parent Body Influences on Amino Acids in the Tagish Lake Meteorite (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Callahan, M. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Herd, C. D. K.


    The Tagish Lake meteorite is a primitive C2 carbonaceous chondrite with a mineralogy, oxygen isotope, and bulk chemical. However, in contrast to many CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites, the Tagish Lake meteorite was reported to have only trace levels of indigenous amino acids, with evidence for terrestrial L-amino acid contamination from the Tagish Lake meltwater. The lack of indigenous amino acids in Tagish Lake suggested that they were either destroyed during parent body alteration processes and/or the Tagish Lake meteorite originated on a chemically distinct parent body from CI and CM meteorites where formation of amino acids was less favorable. We recently measured the amino acid composition of three different lithologies (11h, 5b, and 11i) of pristine Tagish Lake meteorite fragments that represent a range of progressive aqueous alteration in order 11h amino acids found in hot-water extracts of the Tagish Lake fragments were determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography fluorescence detection and time of flight mass spectrometry coupled with OPA/NAC derivatization. Stable carbon isotope analyses of the most abundant amino acids in 11h were measured with gas chromatography coupled with quadrupole mass spectrometry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

  11. 57Fe Moessbauer Spectroscopy Studies of Meteorites: Implications for Weathering Rates, Meteorite Flux, and Early Solar System Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bland, P. A.; Berry, F. J.; Jull, A. J. T.; Smith, T. B.; Bevan, A. W. R.; Cadogan, J. M.; Sexton, A. S.; Franchi, L. A.; Pillinger, C. T.


    Ordinary chondrite finds, terrestrial age dated using 14 C analyses, from different meteorite accumulation sites, have been examined by Moessbauer spectroscopy to quantitatively determine terrestrial oxidation. We observe differences in weathering rates between sites, and also between different chondrite groups. A comparison of weathering over time, and its effect in 'eroding' meteorites, together with the number and mass distribution of meteorites in each region, enables us to derive estimates of the number of meteorite falls over a given mass per year. Studies of how the oxygen isotopic composition of samples varies with weathering indicate that incipient alteration may occur without a pronounced isotopic effect, possibly due to weathering of silicates to topotactically oriented smectite confined spaces where the water volume is limited. This finding has profound implications for the use of oxygen isotopes as a tool in understanding water-rock interaction. It also may reconcile previously contradictory data regarding the nebular or asteroidal location of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration. Finally, Moessbauer spectroscopy is also found to be a useful tool in determining mineral abundance in carbonaceous chondrites, where a fine-grained matrix makes traditional approaches inapplicable. Again, the results have implications for the modification of chondritic materials in the early solar system.

  12. Worlds beyond meteorite studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipschutz, M.E.


    Meteorites are of essential interest because they contain the oldest Solar System materials available for research and sample a wide range of parent bodies - exteriors and interiors - some primitive, some highly evolved. Meteorites carry decipherable records of certain solar and galactic effects and yield otherwise unobtainable data about the genesis, evolution, and composition of the Earth and other major planets, satellites, asteroids, and the Sun. Some contain inclusions tracing events from before the Solar System formed; others contain organic matter derived from giant molecular clouds in the interstellar medium. It is especially advantageous that meteorites occur on the Earth's surface, where the full spectrum of laboratory analytical techniques can be applied, ranging from the simplest to the most sophisticated. As the recently released report of the US National Commission on Space put it: If one picture is worth 10,000 words, then one sample is worth 10,000 pictures. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of meteorite studies - overlapping chemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy - no brief article can summarize the full scope of current research. After introducing some basic cosmochemical facts and approaches, this report will illustrate the nature of questions that cosmochemists ask and how they go about answering them. For reasons to be described, the author focuses on certain trace elements - especially Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cs, In, Rb, Se, Te, Tl, and Zn - that are particularly responsive to relatively low temperature processes and that yield important genetic information

  13. Comet Giacobini-Zinner - a normal comet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cochran, A.L.; Barker, E.S.


    Observations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner were obtained during its 1985 apparition using an IDS spectrograph at McDonald Observatory. Column densities and production rates were computed. The production rates were compared to observations of other normal comets. Giacobini-Zinner is shown to be depleted in C2 and C3 relative to CN. These production rates are down by a factor of 5. 12 references

  14. Minor bodies of the Solar system: meteorite orbits, relationship, mirror symmetry in C-distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terent'eva, A.K.


    Population of large meteor bodies having masses from several kilograms up to several tens of tons has been revealed by means of photographic observations of bright fireballs. 39 of 69 objects of this population is meteorites producing. A unique class of meteorite orbits of an extremely short period (the Earth's group) has been found. The analysis of the distributions of minor bodies by Tisserand constant C (the perturbing planet is Jupiter) allowed to make conclusions about possible genetic connections and families inside the complex of minor bodies - comets, asteroids, large meteor bodies including meteorites and meteor streams. About 8 per cent of meteorites and 15 per cent of asteroids of the Amour group may have a cometary origin. Mirror symmetry has been found in C-distribution of minor bodies relative to the gap in the center of which collinear points of libration are located

  15. Carbonaceous electrode materials for supercapacitors. (United States)

    Hao, Long; Li, Xianglong; Zhi, Linjie


    Supercapacitors have been widely studied around the world in recent years, due to their excellent power density and long cycle life. As the most frequently used electrode materials for supercapacitors, carbonaceous materials attract more and more attention. However, their relatively low energy density still holds back the widespread application. Up to now, various strategies have been developed to figure out this problem. This research news summarizes the recent advances in improving the supercapacitor performance of carbonaceous materials, including the incorporation of heteroatoms and the pore size effect (subnanopores' contribution). In addition, a new class of carbonaceous materials, porous organic networks (PONs) has been managed into the supercapacitor field, which promises great potential in not only improving the supercapacitor performances, but also unraveling the related mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Mystery of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.


    An account is given of the growth of human understanding of comets with emphasis initially placed on theories developed before the twentieth century and subsequently on information regarding the nature of comets, their origin and possible relation to life on earth. Special consideration is given to a description of how the author arrived at his own model of the origin and nature of comets, the dirty snowball theory. The significance of comets (i.e. the hazards they may represent) is assessed and space missions to Halley's comet together with the first landing on a comet (tentatively planned for 1995) are described. It is noted that this growth of cometary understanding is presented as an integral part of the growth of science and technology. 14 references

  17. Ammonia abundances in comets (United States)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.; Engel, L.

    The emission band strengths of the NH2 bands of Comets Halley, Hartley-Good, Thiele, and Borrelly were measured to determine the NH2 column densities for the comets. Production rates obtained using the Haser and vectorial models are in agreement within the observational errors, suggesting that a simple two-step decay model may be used to approximate the NH2 distribution in a comet's coma. Ammonia-to-water abundance ratios from 0.01 to 0.4 percent were found for the four comets. The ratio in Comet Halley is found to be Q(NH3)/Q(H2O) = 0.002 + or - 0.001. No significant difference in the ammonia abundance was found before or after perihelion in Comet Halley.

  18. Postencounter view of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendis, D.A.


    Ground-based and space observations of Comet Halley during its 1986 perihelion passage are reviewed, with an emphasis on their implications for theoretical models. Consideration is given to the shape, surface morphology, and composition of the comet nucleus; the shape, dynamics, and composition of the dust tail; neutral and ionic gas species in the head and plasma tail; and the comet/solar-wind interaction. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided, and the potential value of the new kinds of data to be obtained with the NASA Comet-Rendezvous/Asteroid-Flyby spacecraft is discussed. 139 references

  19. The evolution of meteorites and planets from a hot nebula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald H. Tarling


    Full Text Available Meteorites have a hot origin as planetary materials derive from a supernova, similar to SN1987A, and were acquired by a nearby nova, the Sun. The supernova plasmas became zoned around the nova, mainly by their electromagnetic properties. Carbon and carbide dusts condensed first, followed, within the Inner Planetary Zone, by Ca–Mg–Al oxides and then by iron and nickel metal droplets. In the inner Asteroid Belt, the metals aggregated into clumps as they solidified but over a much longer time in the Inner Zone. ‘Soft’ collisions formed larger (<∼20 km objects in the Asteroid Belt; in the Inner Zone these aggregated forming proto-planetary cores during inwards orbital migration. In the Asteroid Belt, glassy olivines condensed, followed more open lattice minerals growing grew primarily by diffusion. Brittle silicate crystals were comminuted and only aggregated into the carbonaceous meteorites when water–ices formed. The inner planets differentiated by at least 4.4 Ga. Jupiter and the outer planets grew on asteroidal bodies thrown out into freezing water vapours and only formed by 4.1 Ga, resulting in the Late Heavy Bombardment, initially by meteoritic materials and later supplemented by ices from, and beyond, the Asteroid Belt. Critical factors are the properties of very high temperature supernova plasmas, the duration of the molten iron phase in the inner zone. Evidence usually quoted for a cold origin derives from late stage processes in hot meteorite evolution. While highly speculative, it is shown that meteorites and planets can be formed by known processes as supernova plasmas cool.

  20. Comparison of the Mineralogy of Comet Wild 2 Coma Grains to Other Astromaterials (United States)

    Frank, David; Zolensky, Michael


    We propose that Kuiper Belt samples (in this case comet coma grains from the Jupiter family comet Wild 2) are recognizably different from the bulk of materials in outer belt asteroids, because of their different formation positions and times in the early solar system. We believe this despite similarities found between some Wild 2 grains and components of carbonaceous chondrites (i.e. some CAI and chondrules). Kuiper Belt samples must preserve measurable mineralogical and compositional evidence of formation at unique positions and times in the early solar nebula, and these formational differences must have imparted recognizable special characteristics. We hypothesize that these characteristics include: (1) Unique major element compositional ranges of common astromaterial minerals, especially olivine and pyroxene; (2) Unique minor element compositions of major silicate phases, especially olivine and low-Ca pyroxene; (3) Degree and effects of radiation processing -- including amorphous rims, metal coatings, and Glass with Embedded Metal and Sulfides (GEMS); (4) Presence of abundant presolar silicate grains as recognized by anomalous oxygen in silicates; (5) Oxidation state of the mineral assemblage. We are working our way through all available Wild 2 samples, selecting 1-2 non-consecutive viable TEM grids from each possible extracted Wild 2 grain. We especially prefer TEM grids from grains for which complete mineralogical details have not been published (which is to say the majority of the extracted grains). We are performing a basic mineralogic survey by E-beam techniques, to establish the essential features of the extracted Wild 2 grains. We are making a particular effort to carefully and accurately measure minor elements of olivine and pyroxene, as these minerals are widespread in astromaterials, and comparisons of their compositions will serve to place the Wild 2 silicates in contact with asteroids, meteorites and chondritic interplanetary dust particles

  1. Meteorites, atolls and whisky

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Improvements in the methods of measuring radioactive traces of elements in substances which can be hundreds of millions of years old have enabled many secrets of the remote past to be revealed. The techniques developed by nuclear scientists can also be applied to more recent times. In a symposium held in Monaco during March the discussions of radioactive dating and methods of low level counting brought references to meteorites, rocks, archaeology, coral atolls, ancient ceramics, and even whisky

  2. Optical observation of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanabe, Hiroyoshi


    The observation of comets is proposed to study the state of interplanetary space. The behavior of the tails of comets shows the state of solar wind. On July 4, 1964, large bending was seen in the tail of the Tomita-Gerber-Handa comet. Then, on July 7, 1964, geomagnetic disturbance was observed. Disturbance in the tail of Kohoutek comet was seen on Jan. 19, 1974, and Ksub(p)--5 on the ground on Jan. 25. The effort for the quantitative measurement of the parameters of solar wind has been continued in various countries. Recently, the large scale observation of the Kohoutek comet was carried out in the world. Preliminary report is presented in this paper. Waving in the type 1 tail of the comet was seen, and this phenomenon may show some instability due to the interaction between the tail and the solar wind. Periodic variation of the direction of the tail has been reported. The present result also confirmed this report. In case of small comets, flare-up occurs and original luminous intensity is regained after several days. Measurement of the spectrum at the time of flare-up may show information concerning temporary variation of the state of interplanetary space. For the tracking of time variation of comets, cooperation of a number of stations at different positions is required. (Kato, T.)

  3. Carbon Isotope Analyses of Individual Hydrocarbon Molecules in Bituminous Coal, Oil Shale and Murchison Meteorite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoungsook Kim


    Full Text Available To study the origin of organic matter in meteorite, terrestrial rocks which contain organic compounds similar to the ones found in carbonaceous chondrites are studied and compared with Murchison meteorite. Hydrocarbon molecules were extracted by benzene and methanol from bituminous coal and oil shale and the extracts were partitioned into aliphatic, aromatic, and polar fractions by silica gel column chromatography. Carbon isotopic ratios in each fractions were analysed by GC-C-IRMS. Molecular compound identifications were carried by GC-MS Engine. Bituminous coal and oil shale show the organic compound composition similar to that of meteorite. Oil shale has a wide range of δ(13C, -20.1%_0 - -54.4%_0 compared to bituminous coal, -25.2%_0 - -34.3%_0. Delta values of several molecular compounds in two terrestrial samples are different. They show several distinct distributions in isotopic ratios compared to those of meteorite; Murchison meteorite has a range of δ(13C from -13%_0 to +30%_0. These results provide interpretation for the source and the formation condition of each rock, in particular alteration and migration processes of organic matter. Especially, they show an important clue whether some hydrocarbon molecules observed in meteorite are indigenous or not.

  4. Stable isotope genealogy of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pillinger, C.T.


    One of the oldest problems in meteoritics is that of taxonomically grouping samples. In recent years the use of isotopes, particularly oxygen isotopes has proved very successful in this respect. Other light-element systematics potentially can perform the same function. For example, nitrogen in iron meteorites, and nitrogen and carbon in ureilites and SNC meteorites. These measurements will serve to extend and augment existing classification schemes and provide clues to the nature of meteorite parent bodies. They can also aid in the recognition of the isotopic signatures relating to inaccessible regions of the Earth. (author)

  5. Comet thermal modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; Kieffer, H.H.


    The past year was one of tremendous activity because of the appearance of Halley's Comet. Observations of the comet were collected from a number of sources and compared with the detailed predictions of the comet thermal modeling program. Spacecraft observations of key physical parameters for cometary nucleus were incorporated into the thermal model and new cases run. These results have led to a much better understanding of physical processes on the nucleus and have pointed the way for further improvements to the modeling program. A model for the large-scale structure of cometary nuclei was proposed in which comets were envisioned as loosely bound agglomerations of smaller icy planetesimals, essentially a rubble pile of primordial dirty snowballs. In addition, a study of the physical history of comets was begun, concentrating on processes during formation and in the Oort cloud which would alter the volatile and nonvolatile materials in cometary nuclei from their pristine state before formation

  6. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V


    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies. (physics of our days)

  7. The distribution of chiral asymmetry in meteorites: An investigation using asymmetric autocatalytic chiral sensors (United States)

    Kawasaki, Tsuneomi; Hatase, Kunihiko; Fujii, Yusuke; Jo, Kazumichi; Soai, Kenso; Pizzarello, Sandra


    We separated and analyzed several organic and inorganic phases of the carbonaceous chondrite matrix to determine whether they contained any inherent asymmetry. Our intent was to determine any possible foci of asymmetry besides the one determined for meteoritic amino acids. As a probe, we employed a very sensitive asymmetric autocatalytic reaction. We were able to determine that asymmetry still resides in powders after extraction with water and solvents as well as in the insoluble organic material (IOM) obtained after demineralization. Asymmetry is not found any longer in the IOM after hydrothermal treatment and in meteorite powders from which all organics had been removed by O 2 plasma at low temperature. The data are interpreted to indicate a diverse molecular asymmetry residing in yet unknown meteorite organics; these organics might have had an inductive effect on organic molecular evolution upon exogenous delivery to the early Earth.

  8. Coordinated Chemical and Isotopic Imaging of Bells (CM2) Meteorite Matrix (United States)

    Clemett, S. J.; Messenger, S.; Naklamura-Messenger, K.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.


    Meteoritic organic matter is a complex conglomeration of species formed in distinct environments and processes in circumstellar space, the interstellar medium, the Solar Nebula and asteroids. Consequently meteorites constitute a unique record of primordial organic chemical evolution. While bulk chemical analysis has provided a detailed description of the range and diversity of organic species present in carbonaceous chondrites, there is little information as to how these species are spatially distributed and their relationship to the host mineral matrix. The distribution of organic phases is nevertheless critical to understanding parent body processes. The CM and CI chondrites all display evidence of low temperature (chemical mapping study of the Bells meteorite using a newly developed two-step laser mass spectrometer (mu-L(sup 2)MS) capable of measuring a broad range of organic compounds.

  9. Ultraviolet spectral reflectance of carbonaceous materials (United States)

    Applin, Daniel M.; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Gillis-Davis, Jeffrey J.; Pitman, Karly M.; Roush, Ted L.; Hendrix, Amanda R.; Lucey, Paul G.


    A number of planetary spacecraft missions have carried instruments with sensors covering the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range. However, there exists a general lack of relevant UV reflectance laboratory data to compare against these planetary surface remote sensing observations in order to make confident material identifications. To address this need, we have systematically analyzed reflectance spectra of carbonaceous materials in the 200-500 nm spectral range, and found spectral-compositional-structural relationships that suggest this wavelength region could distinguish between otherwise difficult-to-identify carbon phases. In particular (and by analogy with the infrared spectral region), large changes over short wavelength intervals in the refractive indices associated with the trigonal sp2π-π* transition of carbon can lead to Fresnel peaks and Christiansen-like features in reflectance. Previous studies extending to shorter wavelengths also show that anomalous dispersion caused by the σ-σ* transition associated with both the trigonal sp2 and tetrahedral sp3 sites causes these features below λ = 200 nm. The peak wavelength positions and shapes of π-π* and σ-σ* features contain information on sp3/sp2, structure, crystallinity, and powder grain size. A brief comparison with existing observational data indicates that the carbon fraction of the surface of Mercury is likely amorphous and submicroscopic, as is that on the surface of the martian satellites Phobos and Deimos, and possibly comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, while further coordinated observations and laboratory experiments should refine these feature assignments and compositional hypotheses. The new laboratory diffuse reflectance data reported here provide an important new resource for interpreting UV reflectance measurements from planetary surfaces throughout the solar system, and confirm that the UV can be rich in important spectral information.

  10. Interpretation of Wild 2 Dust Fine Structure: Comparison of Stardust Aluminium Foil Craters to the Three-Dimensional Shape of Experimental Impacts by Artificial Aggregate Particles and Meteorite Powders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kearsley, A T; Burchell, M J; Price, M C; Graham, G A; Wozniakiewicz, P J; Cole, M J; Foster, N J; Teslich, N


    New experimental results show that Stardust crater morphology is consistent with interpretation of many larger Wild 2 dust grains being aggregates, albeit most of low porosity and therefore relatively high density. The majority of large Stardust grains (i.e. those carrying most of the cometary dust mass) probably had density of 2.4 g cm{sup -3} (similar to soda-lime glass used in earlier calibration experiments) or greater, and porosity of 25% or less, akin to consolidated carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, and much lower than the 80% suggested for fractal dust aggregates. Although better size calibration is required for interpretation of the very smallest impacting grains, we suggest that aggregates could have dense components dominated by {micro}m-scale and smaller sub-grains. If porosity of the Wild 2 nucleus is high, with similar bulk density to other comets, much of the pore-space may be at a scale of tens of micrometers, between coarser, denser grains. Successful demonstration of aggregate projectile impacts in the laboratory now opens the possibility of experiments to further constrain the conditions for creation of bulbous (Type C) tracks in aerogel, which we have observed in recent shots. We are also using mixed mineral aggregates to document differential survival of pristine composition and crystalline structure in diverse fine-grained components of aggregate cometary dust analogues, impacted onto both foil and aerogel under Stardust encounter conditions.

  11. Molecular Asymmetry in Prebiotic Chemistry: An Account from Meteorites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Pizzarello


    Full Text Available Carbonaceous Chondrite (CC meteorites are fragments of asteroids, solar planetesimals that never became large enough to separate matter by their density, like terrestrial planets. CC contains various amounts of organic carbon and carry a record of chemical evolution as it came to be in the Solar System, at the time the Earth was formed and before the origins of life. We review this record as it pertains to the chiral asymmetry determined for several organic compounds in CC, which reaches a broad molecular distribution and enantiomeric excesses of up to 50%–60%. Because homochirality is an indispensable attribute of extant polymers and these meteoritic enantiomeric excesses are still, to date, the only case of chiral asymmetry in organic molecules measured outside the biosphere, the possibility of an exogenous delivery of primed prebiotic compounds to early Earth from meteorites is often proposed. Whether this exogenous delivery held a chiral advantage in molecular evolution remains an open question, as many others regarding the origins of life are.

  12. Spectral evidence for amorphous silicates in least-processed CO meteorites and their parent bodies (United States)

    McAdam, Margaret M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Howard, Kieren T.; Alexander, Conel M.; McCoy, Timothy J.; Bus, Schelte J.


    Least-processed carbonaceous chondrites (carbonaceous chondrites that have experienced minimal aqueous alteration and thermal metamorphism) are characterized by their predominately amorphous iron-rich silicate interchondrule matrices and chondrule rims. This material is highly susceptible to destruction by the parent body processes of thermal metamorphism or aqueous alteration. The presence of abundant amorphous material in a meteorite indicates that the parent body, or at least a region of the parent body, experienced minimal processing since the time of accretion. The CO chemical group of carbonaceous chondrites has a significant number of these least-processed samples. We present visible/near-infrared and mid-infrared spectra of eight least-processed CO meteorites (petrologic type 3.0-3.1). In the visible/near-infrared, these COs are characterized by a broad weak feature that was first observed by Cloutis et al. (2012) to be at 1.3-μm and attributed to iron-rich amorphous silicate matrix materials. This feature is observed to be centered at 1.4-μm for terrestrially unweathered, least-processed CO meteorites. At mid-infrared wavelengths, a 21-μm feature, consistent with Si-O vibrations of amorphous materials and glasses, is also present. The spectral features of iron-rich amorphous silicate matrix are absent in both the near- and mid-infrared spectra of higher metamorphic grade COs because this material has recrystallized as crystalline olivine. Furthermore, spectra of least-processed primitive meteorites from other chemical groups (CRs, MET 00426 and QUE 99177, and C2-ungrouped Acfer 094), also exhibit a 21-μm feature. Thus, we conclude that the 1.4- and 21-μm features are characteristic of primitive least-processed meteorites from all chemical groups of carbonaceous chondrites. Finally, we present an IRTF + SPeX observation of asteroid (93) Minerva that has spectral similarities in the visible/near-infrared to the least-processed CO carbonaceous chondrites

  13. Composition of faint comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, L.W.


    The study uses an emission line, differential imaging camera built by the Science Operations Branch. This instrument allows photometric data to be obtained over a large area of a comet in a large number of resolution elements. The detector is a 100x100 Reticon array which with interchangeable optics can give resolutions from 2'' to 30'' over a field of 1' to 15'. The camera through its controlling computer can simultaneously take images in on-line and continuum filters and through computer subtraction and calibration present a photometric image of the comet produced by only the emission of the molecule under study. Initial work has shown two significant problems. First the auxiliary equipment of the telescope has not allowed the unambiguous location of faint comets so that systematic observations could be made, and secondly initial data has not shown much molecular emission from the faint comets which were located. Work last year on a software and hardware display system and this year on additional guide motors on the 36-inch telescope has allowed the differential camera to act as its own finder and guide scope. Comet IRAS was observed in C2 and CO+, as well as an occultation by the comet of SAO029103. The perodic comet Giacobini-Zinner was also observed in C2

  14. Realm of the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.


    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars

  15. Retorts for distilling carbonaceous material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lutz, H E


    A retort for distilling carbonaceous material is described in which a mass of such material is retained in a pocket formed between an outer wall and an internal wall which is perforated to permit the free escape of distilled products, the retorts having heating means that directly heat the retort but are so related to the pocket that the material therein is heated indirectly and simultaneously from all sides entirely by heat conducted thereto by the walls.

  16. Origin and development of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kresak, L.


    The comets are the most primitive and probably also the oldest members of the solar system. Comet cores are brittle bodies of an irregular shape and of a size of 1 to 10 km whose main component is ice. Around 130 comets move along short-period paths whose aphelia are concentrated in the area of Jupiter. They are in the last stage of development. About 20 comets have periods of 20 to 200 years and feature higher motion stability. Roughly 180 comets have elliptical orbits of a period exceeding 200 years, 200 comets have parabolic and 120 comets have hyperbolic orbits. The most distant comets form the Oort cloud around the solar system consisting of about one billion comets. Comets originated roughly 4.6 thousand million years ago together with planets, probably inside the Oort cloud. (M.D.). 11 figs

  17. Study of Meteoritic Inclusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Mia Bjørg Stolberg

    of meteorite samples that date back to the birth of the solar system. In this thesis, we have taken advantage of novel methods for the high-precision analysis of various radiogenic and stable isotope systems by plasma source and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ICPMS and TIMS) as well as by secondary....... The manuscripts presented in this thesis have provided critical insights into the origin and distribution of short-lived radioisotopes as well as the formation and transport history of chondrules and, by extension, the precursor material to asteroidal and planetary bodies. The proposal of 26Al heterogeneity...

  18. Presolar Diamond in Meteorites


    Amari, Sachiko


    Presolar diamond, the carrier of the isotopically anomalous Xe component Xe-HL, was the first mineral type of presolar dust that was isolated from meteorites. The excesses in the light, p-process only isotopes 124Xe and 126Xe, and in the heavy, r-process only isotopes 134Xe and 136Xe relative to the solar ratios indicate that Xe-HL was produced in supernovae: they are the only stellar source where these two processes are believed to take place. Although these processes occur in supernovae, th...

  19. Comets in UV (United States)

    Shustov, B.; Sachkov, M.; Gómez de Castro, A. I.; Vallejo, J. C.; Kanev, E.; Dorofeeva, V.


    Comets are important "eyewitnesses" of Solar System formation and evolution. Important tests to determine the chemical composition and to study the physical processes in cometary nuclei and coma need data in the UV range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Comprehensive and complete studies require additional ground-based observations and in situ experiments. We briefly review observations of comets in the ultraviolet (UV) and discuss the prospects of UV observations of comets and exocomets with space-borne instruments. A special reference is made to the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) project.

  20. On presolar meteoritic sulphides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clayton, D.D.; Ramadurai, S.


    It is stated that discoveries of isotopic anomalies in meteorites caused some workers to postulate nucleosynthetic inhomogeneities that were somehow carried into the early solar system. A picture was developed treating most anomalies as extinct radioactivities trapped in mineral condensations in the expanding sites of explosive nucleosynthesis, such as supernovae or novae. As evidence for this grows it becomes clear that not only isotopic but also mineralogical evidence of presolar grains is wanted, and also knowledge of what supernovae condensates are likely to survive. It is suggested here that a search should be made among sulphides in meteorites, searching especially for sulphides of Ti. The reasoning is that many sulphides, especially Ti sulphides, will not be expected in solar condensation sequences, but are expected to dominate certain key zones of supernovae expansion. Sulphur seems to have resulted primarily from the nuclear explosions of O and Si, and arguments leading to that conclusion are analysed. It is thought that the discussion could lead to important discoveries for nucleosynthesis and the origin of the solar system. (U.K.)

  1. Comet prospects for 2004 (United States)

    Shanklin, J. D.


    2004 sees the return of 18 periodic comets. None are particularly bright and the best are likely to be 78P/Gehrels and 88P/Howell. Three new long period comets are likely to put on a good show: 2001 Q4 (NEAT) reaches perihelion in May, when it could make at least 3rd magnitude. Northern hemisphere observers will first pick it up just after perihelion as it rapidly moves north. 2002 T7 (LINEAR) could also reach 3rd magnitude at closest approach in May, however northern hemisphere observers will have lost it as a binocular object in mid-March. Observers at far southern latitudes may be able to see these two naked eye comets at the same time. 2003 K4 (LINEAR) could reach 6th magnitude as it brightens on its way to perihelion. Several other long period comets discovered in previous years are also still visible.

  2. Comets and their composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spinrad, H.


    Recent theoretical and observational studies of comets are reviewed, with an emphasis on in situ data from spacecraft encounters with P/Giacobini-Zinner (September 1985) and P/Halley (March 1986). Topics addressed include clues on the origin and permanence of the Oort cometary cloud, observations of cometary nuclei far from the sun, the Halley nucleus, compositional and physical data from comae studies, and the parent molecules in comet ices. Also discussed are quantitative analyses of coma production; special features in the tail of P/Giacobini-Zinner; and proposals for (1) observations to detect distant giant comets, (2) high-resolution spectroscopic studies of comae, and (3) additional spacecraft missions such as the NASA Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby. 121 references

  3. DIRBE Comet Trails (United States)

    Arendt, Richard G.


    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals one additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  4. Influence of Bulk Carbonaceous Matter on Pluto's Structure and Evolution (United States)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Spencer, J. R.; Moore, J. M.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C.


    The rock/ice mass ratio of the Pluto system is about 2/1 (McKinnon et al., Icarus 287, 2017) [1], though this neglects the potential role of bulk carbonaceous matter ("CHON"), an important cometary component and one likely important in the ancestral Kuiper belt. The wealth of measurements at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (a Jupiter-family comet and thus one formed in the same region of the outer Solar System as Pluto) by Rosetta are particularly instructive. E.g., Davidsson et al. (A&A 592, 2016) [2] propose in their "composition A" that 67P/Ch-G is 25% metal/sulfides, 42% rock/organics, and 32% ice by mass. For their assumed component densities, the overall grain density is 1820 kg/m3. Fulle et al. (MNRAS 462, 2016) [3] posit 5 ± 2 volume % Fe-sulfides of density 4600 kg/m3, 28 ± 5% Mg,Fe-olivines and -pyroxenes of density 3200 kg/m3, 52 ± 12% hydrocarbons of density 1200 kg/m3, and 15 ± 6% ices of 917 kg/m3. This composition yields a primordial grain density (dust + ice) of 1885 ± 240 kg/m3. Both of these cometary density estimates [2,3] are consistent with Pluto-Charon, especially as Pluto's uncompressed (STP) density is close to 1820 kg/m3 and that of the system as a whole is close to 1800 kg/m3 [1]. We consider the potential compositional and structural implications of these proposed 67P/Ch-G compositions when applied to Pluto and Charon. The amount of ice in model A of [2] is a good match to Pluto structural models. Their rock/organics component, however, is taken to be half graphite (2000 kg/m3) by volume. The composition in [3] is more divergent: very ice poor, and on the order of 50% light hydrocarbons by volume. Regardless of the differences between [2] and [3], the possibility of massive internal graphite or carbonaceous layers within Pluto is real. We discuss the possible consequences for Pluto's structure, rock/ice ratio, thermal and chemical evolution, and even interpretation of its gravity field from tectonics. For example, radiogenic heat

  5. Ion irradiation of the Murchison meteorite: Visible to mid-infrared spectroscopic results (United States)

    Lantz, C.; Brunetto, R.; Barucci, M. A.; Dartois, E.; Duprat, J.; Engrand, C.; Godard, M.; Ledu, D.; Quirico, E.


    Aims: The goal of this study is to simulate space weathering processes on primitive bodies. We use ion implantation as a simulation of solar wind irradiation, which has been suggested by several authors to be the major component of space weathering on main belt asteroids. The laboratory analogs we irradiate and analyze are carbonaceous chondrites; we started the study with the Allende CV meteorite and in this companion paper we present results on the Murchison CM meteorite. Methods: We performed irradiations on pressed pellets of Murchison with 40 keV He+ and Ar+ ions using fluences up to 3 × 1016 ions/cm2. Reflectance spectra were acquired ex situ before and after irradiation in the visible to mid-infrared range (0.4-16 μm). A Raman analysis was also performed to investigate the modifications of the aromatic carbonaceous component. Results: Our results indicate that spectral variations after irradiation within the visible range are smaller than spectral variations due to sample grain size or viewing geometry of the Murchison meteorite. The aqueous alteration band profile near 3 μm changes after irradiation, as adsorbed water is removed, and phyllosilicates are affected. Raman spectroscopy highlights the insoluble organic matter (IOM) modification under irradiation. We observe a shift of the silicates band at 9.9 μm, probably due to a preferential loss of Mg (compared to Fe, the lighter Mg is more easily sputtered backward) and/or amorphization of Mg-rich materials. We compare our results to previous experiments on organic-rich materials (like asphaltite or carbonaceous chondrites), and on ordinary chondrites and olivine grains. We find that the reddening/darkening trend observed on silicate-rich surfaces is not valid for all carbonaceous chondrites, and that the spectral modifications after irradiation are a function of the initial albedo.

  6. Physical processes in comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.


    When this program began in 1975 only limited photometry had been carried out on comets at any wavelength. Program goals were to observe many comets, including faint periodic comets, at a range of heliocentric distances in order to begin to understand the range of behavior among comets and in a given comet during its approach and departure from the sun. Then a study of the continuum of scattered light from dust was added. More recently the value of joint team observations in visible and infrared light has been recognized and utilized as often as possible. All 1978 to 1982 data was reanalyzed and 1983 to 1986 data analyzed in the framwork of the post-Halley paradigm, covering 25 comets in all. Four observing runs (June, July, Sept., and Jan.) with Hanner produced excellent results on Wilson, Bradfield, P/Klemola, and P/Borrelly and lesser data on other objects, including the last reported IR photometry of P/Halley. The Wilson and Halley data have been reduced

  7. Laboratory Studies Of Circumstellar Carbonaceous Grain Formation (United States)

    Contreras, Cesar; Sciamma-O'Brien, Ella; Salama, Farid


    The study of the formation processes of dust is essential to understand the budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar (IS) chemistry and in the formation of organic molecules, little is known on the formation processes of carbonaceous dust. We report the progress that was recently achieved in this domain using NASA Ames’ COSmIC facility (Contreras & Salama 2013, ApJS, 208, 6). PAHs are important chemical building blocks of IS dust. They are detected in IDPs and in meteoritic samples. Additionally, observational, laboratory, and theoretical studies have shown that PAHs are an important, ubiquitous component of the ISM. The formation of PAHs from smaller molecules has not been extensively studied. Therefore, we have performed laboratory experiments to study the dynamic processes of carbon grain formation, starting from the smallest hydrocarbon molecules into the formation of larger PAH and further into nanograins. Studies of IS dust analogs formed from a variety of PAH and hydrocarbon precursors as well as species that include the atoms O, N, and S, have recently been performed in our laboratory using the COSmIC facility to provide conditions that simulate IS and circumstellar environments. The species formed in the COSmiC chamber through a pulsed discharge nozzle plasma source are detected and characterized with a cavity ringdown spectrometer coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, thus providing both spectroscopic and ion mass information in-situ. Analysis of solid soot particles was also conducted using scanning electron microscopy at the UCSC/NASA Ames’ MACS facility. The SEM analysis of the deposition of soot from methane and acetylene precursors seeded in argon plasmas provide examples on the types of nanoparticles and micrograins that are produced in these gas mixtures under our experimental conditions. From these measurements, we derive information on

  8. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter. Volume 22 (United States)

    Satterwhite, Cecilia (Editor); Lindstrom, Marilyn (Editor)


    This Newsletter Contains Classifications of 143 New Meteorites from the 1997 ANSMET Collection. Descriptions are given for 6 meteorites;2 eucrites, and 4 ordinary chondrites. We don't expect much excitement from the rest of the 1997 collection. JSC has examined another 100 meteorites to send to the Smithsonian for classification and they appear to be more of the same LL5 shower. However, past experience tells us that there will be some treasures hidden in the remaining samples. Hope rings eternal, but we can't wait to see the 1998 collection described below.

  9. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.


    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  10. Study of Meteoritic Inclusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Mia Bjørg Stolberg

    by small, potentially terrestrial-like planets. Given the tantalizing perspective of discovering an Earth-like world, understanding the sequence of events leading to the formation our solar system and planetary bodies has never been so relevant. Theoretical and computational astrophysics as well...... of meteorite samples that date back to the birth of the solar system. In this thesis, we have taken advantage of novel methods for the high-precision analysis of various radiogenic and stable isotope systems by plasma source and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ICPMS and TIMS) as well as by secondary....... The manuscripts presented in this thesis have provided critical insights into the origin and distribution of short-lived radioisotopes as well as the formation and transport history of chondrules and, by extension, the precursor material to asteroidal and planetary bodies. The proposal of 26Al heterogeneity...

  11. Hydrocarbon oils from carbonaceous material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, J


    Carbonaceous material is subjected to gradually increasing temperature in a retort and the gases and vapours are drawn off through four pipes according to their temperature and are passed respectively to a separate bubble tower or a fractionation column. The condensate and overhead from each bubble tower are refluxed in the bubble tower into which the gases and vapours of the next succeeding higher temperature are passed and the condensates and overheads from the bubble tower into which gases and vapours at the highest of the lower temperatures are passed are refluxed in the fractionation column. The waste products of combustion pass to a boiler for generating steam for the fractional plant.

  12. Process of treating carbonaceous substances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    A process is described of removing halogens or halogen compounds (or both) from the products which form when carbonaceous substances are treated thermally in the presence of halogens or halogen compounds, consisting of passing the reaction products at the same temperature with a substance able to fix halogens or acid halides through an apparatus included between the receiver and the heat exchanger, which contains, in a relatively restricted space, internal elements obliquely disposed in relation to the direction of the flow, stretched in this direction and constituted preferably of helicoidal passages.

  13. Comet Dust: The Diversity of Primitive Particles and Implications (United States)

    John Bradley; Zolensky, Michael E.


    Comet dust is primitive and shows significant diversity. Our knowledge of the properties of primitive particles has expanded significantly through microscale investigations of cosmic dust samples (IDPs and AMMs) and of comet dust samples (Stardust and Rosetta's COSIMA), as well as through remote sensing (spectroscopy and imaging) via Spitzer and via spacecraft encounters with 103P/Hartley 2 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Microscale investigations show that comet dust and cosmic dust are particles of unequilibrated materials, including aggregates of materials unequilibrated at submicron scales. We call unequilibrated materials "primitive" and we deduce they were incorporated into ice-­-rich (H2O-, CO2-, and CO-ice) parent bodies that remained cold, i.e., into comets, because of the lack of aqueous or thermal alteration since particle aggregation; yet some Stardust olivines suggest mild thermal metamorphism. Primitive particles exhibit a diverse range of: structure and typology; size and size distribution of constituents; concentration and form of carbonaceous and organic matter; D-, N-, and O- isotopic enhancements over solar; Mg-, Fe-contentsof thesilicate minerals; the compositions and concentrations of sulfides, and of less abundant mineral species such as chondrules, CAIs and carbonates. The unifomity within a group of samples points to: aerodynamic sorting of particles and/or particle constituents; the inclusion of a limited range of oxygen fugacities; the inclusion or exclusion of chondrules; a selection of organics. The properites of primitive particles imply there were disk processes that resulted in different comets having particular selections of primitive materials. The diversity of primitive particles has implications for the diversity of materials in the protoplanetary disk present at the time and in the region where the comets formed.

  14. Comet Dust: The Diversity of "Primitive" Particles and Implications (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Ishii, Hope A.; Bradley, John P.; Zolensky, Michael E.


    Comet dust is primitive and shows significant diversity. Our knowledge of the properties of primitive particles has expanded significantly through microscale investigations of cosmic dust samples ( IDP's(Interplanetary Dust Particles) and AMM's (Antarctic Micrometeorites)) and of comet dust samples (Stardust and Rosetta's COSIMA), as well as through remote sensing (spectroscopy and imaging) via Spitzer and via spacecraft encounters with 103P/Hartley 2 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Microscale investigations show that comet dust and cosmic dust are particles of unequilibrated materials, including aggregates of materials unequilibrated at submicron scales. We call unequilibrated materials "primitive" and we deduce they were incorporated into ice-rich (H2O-, CO2-, and CO-ice) parent bodies that remained cold, i.e., into comets, because of the lack of aqueous or thermal alteration since particle aggregation; yet some Stardust olivines suggest mild thermal metamorphism. Primitive particles exhibit a diverse range of: structure and typology; size and size distribution of constituents; concentration and form of carbonaceous and organic matter; D-, N-, and O- isotopic enhancements over solar; Mg-, Fe-contents of the silicate minerals; the compositions and concentrations of sulfides, and of less abundant mineral species such as chondrules, CAIs and carbonates. The uniformity within a group of samples points to: aerodynamic sorting of particles and/or particle constituents; the inclusion of a limited range of oxygen fugacities; the inclusion or exclusion of chondrules; a selection of organics. The properties of primitive particles imply there were disk processes that resulted in different comets having particular selections of primitive materials. The diversity of primitive particles has implications for the diversity of materials in the protoplanetary disk present at the time and in the region where the comets formed.

  15. The Virtual Museum for Meteorites (United States)

    Madiedo, J. M.


    Meteorites play a fundamental role in education and outreach, as these samples of extraterrestrial materials are very valuable tools to promote the public's interest in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences. Thus, for instance, meteorite exhibitions reveal the interest and fascination of students, educators and even researchers for these peculiar rocks and how these can provide information to explain many fundamental questions related to the origin and evolution of our Solar System. However, despite the efforts of private collectors, museums and other institutions to organize meteorite exhibitions, the reach of these is usually limited. But this issue can be addressed thanks to new technologies related to the Internet. In fact we can take advantage of HTML and related technologies to overcome local boundaries and open the possibility of offering these exhibitions for a global audience. With this aim a Virtual Museum for Meteorites has been created and a description of this web-based tool is given here.

  16. Aqueous processing of organic compounds in carbonaceous asteroids (United States)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep Maria; Rimola, Albert; Martins, Zita


    There is growing evidence pointing towards a prebiotic synthesis of complex organic species in water-rich undifferentiated bodies. For instance, clays have been found to be associated with complex organic compounds (Pearson et al. 2002; Garvie & Buseck 2007; Arteaga et al. 2010), whereas theoretical calculations have studied the interaction between the organic species and surface minerals (Rimola et al., 2013) as well as surface-induced reactions (Rimola at al. 2007). Now, we are using more detailed analytical techniques to study the possible processing of organic molecules associated with the mild aqueous alteration in CR, CM and CI chondrites. To learn more about these processes we are studying carbonaceous chondrites at Ultra High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (UHR-TEM). We are particularly interested in the relationship between organics and clay minerals in carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) matrixes (Trigo-Rodríguez et al. 2014, 2015).We want to address two goals: i) identifying the chemical steps in which the organic molecules could have increased their complexity (i.e., surface interaction and catalysis); and ii) studying if the organic matter present in CCs experienced significant processing concomitant to the formation of clays and other minerals at the time in which these planetary bodies experienced aqueous alteration. Here, these two points are preliminarily explored combing experimental results with theoretical calculations based on accurate quantum mechanical methods. References Arteaga O, Canillas A, Crusats J, El-Hachemi Z, Jellison GE, Llorca J, Ribó JM (2010) Chiral biases in solids by effect of shear gradients: a speculation on the deterministic origin of biological homochirality. Orig Life Evol Biosph 40:27-40. Garvie LAJ, Buseck PR (2007) Prebiotic carbon in clays from Orgueil and Ivuna (CI) and Tagish lake (C2 ungrouped) meteorites. Meteorit Planet Sci 42:2111-2117. Pearson VK, Sephton MA, Kearsley AT, Bland AP, Franchi IA, Gilmour

  17. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites (United States)

    Airieau, S.; Picenco, Y.; Andersen, G.


    Introduction: The best extraterrestrial analogs for microbiology are meteorites. The chemistry and mineralogy of Asteroid Belt and martian (SNC) meteorites are used as tracers of processes that took place in the early solar system. Meteoritic falls, in particular those of carbonaceous chondrites, are regarded as pristine samples of planetesimal evolution as these rocks are primitive and mostly unprocessed since the formation of the solar system 4.56 billion years ago. Yet, questions about terrestrial contamination and its effects on the meteoritic isotopic, chemical and mineral characteristics often arise. Meteorites are hosts to biological activity as soon as they are in contact with the terrestrial biosphere, like all rocks. A wide biodiversity was found in 21 chondrites and 8 martian stones, and was investigated with cell culture, microscopy techniques, PCR, and LAL photoluminetry. Some preliminary results are presented here. The sample suite included carbonaceous chondrites of types CR, CV, CK, CO, CI, and CM, from ANSMET and Falls. Past studies documented the alteration of meteorites by weathering and biological activity [1]-[4]. Unpublished observations during aqueous extraction for oxygen isotopic analysis [5], noted the formation of biofilms in water in a matter of days. In order to address the potential modification of meteoritic isotopic and chemical signatures, the culture of microbial contaminating species was initiated in 2005, and after a prolonged incubation, some of the species obtained from cell culture were analyzed in 2006. The results are preliminary, and a systematic catalog of microbial contaminants is developing very slowly due to lack of funding. Methods: The primary method was cell culture and PCR. Chondrites. Chondritic meteorite fragments were obtained by breaking stones of approximately one gram in sterile mortars. The core of the rocks, presumably less contaminated than the surface, was used for the present microbial study, and the

  18. Explosive Characteristics of Carbonaceous Nanoparticles (United States)

    Turkevich, Leonid; Fernback, Joseph; Dastidar, Ashok


    Explosion testing has been performed on 20 codes of carbonaceous particles. These include SWCNTs (single-walled carbon nanotubes), MWCNTs (multi-walled carbon nanotubes), CNFs (carbon nanofibers), graphene, diamond, fullerene, carbon blacks and graphites. Explosion screening was performed in a 20 L explosion chamber (ASTM E1226-10 protocol), at a (dilute) concentration of 500 g/m3, using a 5 kJ ignition source. Time traces of overpressure were recorded. Samples exhibited overpressures of 5-7 bar, and deflagration index KSt = V1/3 (dp/pt)max ~ 10 - 80 bar-m/s, which places these materials in European Dust Explosion Class St-1 (similar to cotton and wood dust). There was minimal variation between these different materials. The explosive characteristics of these carbonaceous powders are uncorrelated with particle size (BET specific surface area). Additional tests were performed on selected materials to identify minimum explosive concentration [MEC]. These materials exhibit MEC ~ 101 -102 g/m3 (lower than the MEC for coals). The concentration scans confirm that the earlier screening was performed under fuel-rich conditions (i.e. the maximum over-pressure and deflagration index exceed the screening values); e.g. the true fullerene KSt ~ 200 bar-m/s, placing it borderline St-1/St-2. Work supported through the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC)

  19. Basic nitrogen-heterocyclic compounds in the Murchison meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoks, P.G.; Schwartz, A.W.


    A fragment of the Murchison (C2) carbonaceous meteorite was analyzed for basic, N-heterocyclic compounds, by dual detector capillary gas chromatography as well as capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, using two columns of different polarity. In the formic acid extract 2,4,6-trimethylpyridine, quinoline, isoquinoline, 2-methylquinoline and 4-methylquinoline were positively identified. In addition, a suite of alkylpyridines and quinolines and/or isoquinolines was tentatively identified from their mass spectra. The (iso)quinolines were found to contain methyl substituents exclusively. The distribution of the pyridines observed reveals a similarity to that observed from catalytic reactions of ammonia and simple aldehydes under conditions similar to those applied in Fischer-Tropsch type reactions. (author)

  20. Jupiter Laser Facility - COMET Laser (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — COMET has 4 beam configurations with uncompressed pulse lengths from 500 ps to 6 ns, compressed pulses to 0.5 ps, and beam energies up to 20 J. COMET can fire every...

  1. The Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Festou, M.


    The conspicuous part of a comet, made of tenuous gas and dusts, represents only a tiny part of its mass. The main information is hidden in the central part: a solid nucleus, ice and rock blocks with a radius less than 10 km, completely invisible from the Earth. The knowledge of the nucleus structure and its composition could give the key of the planet creation mechanisms. That is a reason why it has been decided to send an automatic device to penetrate the Halley comet atmosphere and that two Soviet probes, Vega 1 and 2, one European probe Giotto, and two Japanese, Planet-A and MS-TS, will explore in-situ in March 1986, for the first time, a comet at atmosphere [fr

  2. Comet: Multifunction VOEvent broker (United States)

    Swinbank, John


    Comet is a Python implementation of the VOEvent Transport Protocol (VTP). VOEvent is the IVOA system for describing transient celestial events. Details of transients detected by many projects, including Fermi, Swift, and the Catalina Sky Survey, are currently made available as VOEvents, which is also the standard alert format by future facilities such as LSST and SKA. The core of Comet is a multifunction VOEvent broker, capable of receiving events either by subscribing to one or more remote brokers or by direct connection from authors; it can then both process those events locally and forward them to its own subscribers. In addition, Comet provides a tool for publishing VOEvents to the global VOEvent backbone.

  3. Halogens in chondritic meteorites and terrestrial accretion (United States)

    Clay, Patricia L.; Burgess, Ray; Busemann, Henner; Ruzié-Hamilton, Lorraine; Joachim, Bastian; Day, James M. D.; Ballentine, Christopher J.


    Volatile element delivery and retention played a fundamental part in Earth’s formation and subsequent chemical differentiation. The heavy halogens—chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br) and iodine (I)—are key tracers of accretionary processes owing to their high volatility and incompatibility, but have low abundances in most geological and planetary materials. However, noble gas proxy isotopes produced during neutron irradiation provide a high-sensitivity tool for the determination of heavy halogen abundances. Using such isotopes, here we show that Cl, Br and I abundances in carbonaceous, enstatite, Rumuruti and primitive ordinary chondrites are about 6 times, 9 times and 15-37 times lower, respectively, than previously reported and usually accepted estimates. This is independent of the oxidation state or petrological type of the chondrites. The ratios Br/Cl and I/Cl in all studied chondrites show a limited range, indistinguishable from bulk silicate Earth estimates. Our results demonstrate that the halogen depletion of bulk silicate Earth relative to primitive meteorites is consistent with the depletion of lithophile elements of similar volatility. These results for carbonaceous chondrites reveal that late accretion, constrained to a maximum of 0.5 ± 0.2 per cent of Earth’s silicate mass, cannot solely account for present-day terrestrial halogen inventories. It is estimated that 80-90 per cent of heavy halogens are concentrated in Earth’s surface reservoirs and have not undergone the extreme early loss observed in atmosphere-forming elements. Therefore, in addition to late-stage terrestrial accretion of halogens and mantle degassing, which has removed less than half of Earth’s dissolved mantle gases, the efficient extraction of halogen-rich fluids from the solid Earth during the earliest stages of terrestrial differentiation is also required to explain the presence of these heavy halogens at the surface. The hydropilic nature of halogens, whereby they track

  4. The fate or organic matter during planetary accretion - Preliminary studies of the organic chemistry of experimentally shocked Murchison meteorite (United States)

    Tingle, Tracy N.; Tyburczy, James A.; Ahrens, Thomas J.; Becker, Christopher H.


    The fate of organic matter in carbonaceous meteorites during hypervelocity (1-2 km/sec) impacts is investigated using results of experiments in which three samples of the Murchison (CM2) carbonaceous chondrite were shocked to 19, 20, and 36 GPa and analyzed by highly sensitive thermal-desorption photoionization mass spectrometry (SALI). The thermal-desorptive SALI mass spectra of unshocked CM2 material revealed presence of indigenous aliphatic, aromatic, sulfur, and organosulfur compounds, and samples shocked to about 20 GPa showed little or no loss of organic matter. On the other hand, samples shocked to 36 GPa exhibited about 70 percent loss of organic material and a lower alkene/alkane ratio than did the starting material. The results suggest that it is unlikely that the indigenous organic matter in carbonaceous chondritelike planetesimals could have survived the impact on the earth in the later stages of earth's accretion.

  5. Nature and origin of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Jockers, K.


    The review examines basic history and morphology, motion, dynamic evolution, physical properties of neutral gaseous matter, vaporization of gases and outflow from the nucleus, chemistry of the coma gases, the comet nucleus, dust particles, solar wind-comet interactions and tail formation and the origin of comets. (U.K.)

  6. Comets - cosmic 'snowballs'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luest, R.


    Non-periodic comets come from regions at the limit of our solar system and have conserved their original structure and composition since they have originated from a pre-solar nebuly together with the sun and the planets about 4.5 x 10 9 years ago. They are icy bodies of kilometer size whose structure and chemical composition is of great interest also with respect to the origin of the solar system. It is hoped to send a space craft to comet Halley in 1986 to get more detailed informations. (orig.) [de


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Remusat, Laurent; Robert, Francois; Meibom, Anders; Mostefaoui, Smail; Delpoux, Olivier; Binet, Laurent; Gourier, Didier; Derenne, Sylvie


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) in primitive carbonaceous meteorites has preserved its chemical composition and isotopic heterogeneity since the solar system formed ∼4.567 billion years ago. We have identified the carrier moieties of isotopically anomalous hydrogen in IOM isolated from the Orgueil carbonaceous chondrite. Data from high spatial resolution, quantitative isotopic NanoSIMS mapping of Orgueil IOM combined with data from electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that organic radicals hold all the deuterium excess (relative to the bulk IOM) in distinct, micrometer-sized, D-rich hotspots. Taken together with previous work, the results indicate that an isotopic exchange reaction took place between pre-existing organic compounds characterized by low D/H ratios and D-rich gaseous molecules, such as H 2 D + or HD 2 + . This exchange reaction most likely took place in the diffuse outer regions of the proto-planetary disk around the young Sun, offering a model that reconciles meteoritic and cometary isotopic compositions of organic molecules.

  8. Proto-Planetary Disk Chemistry Recorded by D-Rich Organic Radicals in Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Remusat, Laurent; Robert, François; Meibom, Anders; Mostefaoui, Smail; Delpoux, Olivier; Binet, Laurent; Gourier, Didier; Derenne, Sylvie


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) in primitive carbonaceous meteorites has preserved its chemical composition and isotopic heterogeneity since the solar system formed ~4.567 billion years ago. We have identified the carrier moieties of isotopically anomalous hydrogen in IOM isolated from the Orgueil carbonaceous chondrite. Data from high spatial resolution, quantitative isotopic NanoSIMS mapping of Orgueil IOM combined with data from electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that organic radicals hold all the deuterium excess (relative to the bulk IOM) in distinct, micrometer-sized, D-rich hotspots. Taken together with previous work, the results indicate that an isotopic exchange reaction took place between pre-existing organic compounds characterized by low D/H ratios and D-rich gaseous molecules, such as H2D+ or HD2 +. This exchange reaction most likely took place in the diffuse outer regions of the proto-planetary disk around the young Sun, offering a model that reconciles meteoritic and cometary isotopic compositions of organic molecules.

  9. Molecular and compound-specific hydrogen isotope analyses of insoluble organic matter from different carbonaceous chondrite groups (United States)

    Wang, Yi; Huang, Yongsong; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Fogel, Marilyn; Cody, George


    We have conducted the first systematic analyses of molecular distribution and δD values of individual compounds in pyrolysates of insoluble organic matter (IOM) from different carbonaceous chondrite groups, using flash pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compound-specific D/H analysis. IOM samples from six meteorites of different classifications, Elephant Moraine (EET) 92042 (CR2), Orgueil (CI1), Allan Hills (ALH) 83100 (CM1/2), Murchison (CM2), ALH 85013 (CM2), and Tagish Lake (C2) were isolated and studied. Except for the pyrolysate of Tagish Lake IOM, pyrolysates of all five meteorite IOM samples were dominated by an extensive series of aromatic (C 1 to C 7 alkyl-substituted benzenes, C 0 to C 2 alkyl-substituted naphthalenes), with aliphatic (straight chain and branched C 10 to C 15 alkanes) hydrocarbons and several S- and O- containing compounds (C 1 to C 2 alkylthiophenes, benzothiophene, benzaldehyde) being also present. The strong similarity in the pyrolysates of different carbonaceous chondrites suggests certain common characteristics in the formation mechanisms of IOM from different meteorites. The Tagish Lake IOM sample is unique in that its pyrolysate lacks most of the alkyl-substituted aromatic hydrocarbons detected in other meteorite IOM samples, suggesting distinctively different formation processes. Both bulk δD values of meteorite IOMs and weighted-average δD values of individual compounds in pyrolysates show a decreasing trend: CR2 > CI1 > CM2 > C2 (Tagish Lake), with the EET 92042 (CR2) IOM having the highest δD values (˜2000‰ higher than other samples). We attribute the high D contents in the IOM to primitive interstellar organic sources.

  10. Distillation of solid carbonaceous material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burney, C D


    A method of distilling carbonaceous material at low or moderate temperatures is described in which the main supply of gases for heating the material under treatment is generated in a combustion chamber located externally of the retort chamber from which combustion chamber the gases are withdrawn and passed under control through hollow elements located within the retort chamber in such manner as to insure the production of the desired temperature gradient along the length of the retort, the said elements being so constructed that they serve to bring the heating gases into indirect contact with the material undergoing treatment while also moving the material progressively through the retort in the opposite direction to that in which the heating gases flow.

  11. Comet 67P Through the Lens of Art (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina


    My proposal is to share my artistic exploration of a comet through the bodily senses, while finding inspiration in scientific data. I will present my artwork as a slideshow, showcasing: large scale paintings, ceramic sculptures, music and interactive augmented reality. The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko is remarkable. The scientific investigation of the comet's composition, atmosphere, dust, vapor, surface and internal structure are crucial to help researchers understand the origin of the solar system and our own planet. Sight: Paintings Rosetta mission discovered that the water on the comet is different from the water on Earth; as measured with the ROSINA-DFMS instrument on Rosetta, water on 67P contains approximately 3 times more hydrogen­deuterium oxide - HDO, than found in Earth's oceans. In the art studio I re-create water that is close in composition to the water on the comet, by concentrating the level of HDO. With this water I paint large scale watermedia paintings, based on the photographs by Rosetta (OSIRIS, Nav. Cam.). Touch: Sculptures While exploring the comet's three-dimensional form, I focus more deeply on the composition of the comet. Stoneware clay and my choice of a glaze both include iron oxide, a common constituent of meteorites and comets. Hearing: Music An audio piece "A Singing Comet", by Manuel Senfft, based on the Rosetta Plasma Consortium data, inspired me to make a musical piece. In collaboration with clarinetist Lee Mottram (Wales) and composer Takuto Fukuda (Japan) we created an electro­acoustic composition in which we tell the story of comets visiting our Solar System, repeating their cycle, curving around the sun and releasing water, carrying away dust to form their tails. Smell In collaboration with The Open University, UK, postcards with a smell of the comet were created, introducing the chemical components of the comet. The smell was recreated by combining several molecules

  12. Comet radar explorer (United States)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  13. Comets in Indian Scriptures (United States)

    Das Gupta, P.


    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  14. Comet 2001 Q2

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Bouma, R. J.; Raymundo, P. M.

    č. 7687 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  15. Death of a comet

    CERN Multimedia

    Hawkes, N


    The comet Linear dissolved as it made its closest approach to the sun on July 25th. The first stages of its breakup had been witnessed by the Hubble telescope when it threw off a piece of its crust (3 paragraphs).

  16. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography. (United States)

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

    Included in this bibliography are over 3,200 references to publications on Halley's Comet, its history, orbital motion, and physical characteristics, meteor streams associated with it, preparations for space missions to study it in 1986, and popular reaction to its appearances. Also cited are a few papers that, although they devote little…

  17. DRBE comet trails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, Richard G.


    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr −1 , respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  18. DRBE comet trails

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arendt, Richard G., E-mail: [CREST/UMBC, Code 665, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)


    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr{sup −1}, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  19. Bangs and meteors from the quiet comet 15P/Finlay

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ye, Q.Z.; Brown, P. G.; Bell, Ch.; Gao, X.; Mašek, Martin; Hui, M.T.


    Roč. 814, č. 1 (2015), s. 1-10, č. článku 79. ISSN 0004-637X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LG13007 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 283783 - GLORIA Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : comet s * 15P/Finlay * meteorites * meteors * meteoroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics OBOR OECD: Astronomy (including astrophysics,space science) Impact factor: 5.909, year: 2015

  20. Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brownlee, D; Tsou, P; Aleon, J; Alexander, C; Araki, T; Bajt, S; Baratta, G A; Bastien, R; Bland, P; Bleuet, P; Borg, J; Bradley, J P; Brearley, A; Brenker, F; Brennan, S; Bridges, J C; Browning, N; Brucato, J R; Bullock, E; Burchell, M J; Busemann, H; Butterworth, A; Chaussidon, M; Cheuvront, A; Chi, M; Cintala, M J; Clark, B C; Clemett, S J; Cody, G; Colangeli, L; Cooper, G; Cordier, P; Daghlian, C; Dai, Z R; D' Hendecourt, L; Djouadi, Z; Dominguez, G; Duxbury, T; Dworkin, J P; Ebel, D; Economou, T E; Fairey, S J; Fallon, S; Ferrini, G; Ferroir, T; Fleckenstein, H; Floss, C; Flynn, G; Franchi, I A; Fries, M; Gainsforth, Z; Gallien, J; Genge, M; Gilles, M K; Gillet, P; Gilmour, J; Glavin, D P; Gounelle, M; Grady, M M; Graham, G A; Grant, P G; Green, S F; Grossemy, F; Grossman, L; Grossman, J; Guan, Y; Hagiya, K; Harvey, R; Heck, P; Herzog, G F; Hoppe, P; Horz, F; Huth, J; Hutcheon, I D; Ishii, H; Ito, M; Jacob, D; Jacobsen, C; Jacobsen, S; Joswiak, D; Kearsley, A T; Keller, L; Khodja, H; Kilcoyne, A D; Kissel, J; Krot, A; Langenhorst, F; Lanzirotti, A; Le, L; Leshin, L; Leitner, J; Lemelle, L; Leroux, H; Liu, M; Luening, K; Lyon, I; MacPherson, G; Marcus, M A; Marhas, K; Matrajt, G; Meibom, A; Mennella, V; Messenger, K; Mikouchi, T; Mostefaoui, S; Nakamura, T; Nakano, T; Newville, M; Nittler, L R; Ohnishi, I; Ohsumi, K; Okudaira, K; Papanastassiou, D A; Palma, R; Palumbo, M E; Pepin, R O; Perkins, D; Perronnet, M; Pianetta, P; Rao, W; Rietmeijer, F; Robert, F; Rost, D; Rotundi, A; Ryan, R; Sandford, S A; Schwandt, C S; See, T H; Schlutter, D; Sheffield-Parker, J; Simionovici, A; Simon, S; Sitnitsky, I; Snead, C J; Spencer, M K; Stadermann, F J; Steele, A; Stephan, T; Stroud, R; Susini, J; Sutton, S R; Taheri, M; Taylor, S; Teslich, N; Tomeoka, K; Tomioka, N; Toppani, A; Trigo-Rodriguez, J M; Troadec, D; Tsuchiyama, A; Tuzolino, A J; Tyliszczak, T; Uesugi, K; Velbel, M; Vellenga, J; Vicenzi, E; Vincze, L; Warren, J; Weber, I; Weisberg, M; Westphal, A J; Wirick, S; Wooden, D; Wopenka, B; Wozniakiewicz, P; Wright, I; Yabuta, K; Yano, H; Young, E D; Zare, R N; Zega, T


    The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales. Stardust was the first mission to return solid samples from a specific astronomical body other than the Moon. The mission, part of the NASA Discovery program, retrieved samples from a comet that is believed to have formed at the outer fringe of the solar nebula, just beyond the most distant planet. The samples, isolated from the planetary region of the solar system for billions of years, provide new insight into the formation of the solar system. The samples provide unprecedented opportunities both to corroborate astronomical (remote sensing) and sample analysis information (ground truth) on a known primitive solar system body and to compare preserved building blocks from the edge of the planetary system with sample-derived and astronomical data for asteroids, small bodies that formed more than an order of magnitude closer to the Sun. The asteroids, parents of most meteorites, formed by accretion of solids in warmer, denser, more collisionally evolved inner regions of the solar nebula where violent nebular events were capable of flash-melting millimeter-sized rocks, whereas comets formed in the coldest, least dense region. The samples collected by Stardust are the first primitive materials from a known body, and as such they provide contextual insight for all primitive meteoritic samples. About 200 investigators

  1. Disappearance and disintegration of comets (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.


    The present investigation has the objective to provide a summary of the existing evidence on the disappearance of comets and to draw conclusions regarding the physical processes involved in the disappearance. Information concerning the classification of evidence and the causes of apparent disappearance of comets is presented in a table. Attention is given to the dissipating comets, the headless sungrazing comet 1887 I, and the physical behavior of the dissipating comets and the related phenomena. It is found that all comets confined to the planetary region of the solar system decay on astronomically short time scales. However, only some of them appear to perish catastrophically. Some of the observed phenomena could be successfully interpreted. But little insight has been obtained into the character of the processes which the dissipating comets experience.

  2. Ammonia abundances in four comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wickoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.


    NH2 emission band strengths were measured in four comets and the NH2 column densities were determined in order to measure the ammonia content of the comets. The mean ammonia/water abundance ratio derived for the four comets is found to be 0.13 + or - 0.06 percent, with no significant variation among the comets. The uniformity of this abundance attests to a remarkable degree of chemical homogeneity over large scales in the comet-forming region of the primordial solar nebula, and contrasts with the CO abundance variations found previously in comets. The N2 and NH3 abundances indicate a condensation temperature in the range 20-160 K, consistent with virtually all comet formation hypotheses. 64 refs

  3. Cometography a catalog of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Kronk, Gary W; Seargent, David A J


    Cometography is a multi-volume catalog of every comet observed from ancient times up to the 1990s, when the internet took off as a medium of scientific record. It uses the most reliable orbits known to determine the distances from the Earth and Sun at the time of discovery and last observation, as well as the largest and smallest angular distance to the Sun, most northerly and southerly declination, closest distance to the Earth, and other details, to enable the reader to understand each comet's physical appearance. Volume 6, the final volume in the catalog, covers the observations and pertinent calculations for every comet seen between 1983 and 1993. The comets are listed in chronological order, with complete references to publications relating to each comet and physical descriptions of each comet's development throughout its apparition. Cometography is the definitive reference on comets through the ages, for astronomers and historians of science.

  4. A dual origin for water in carbonaceous asteroids revealed by CM chondrites (United States)

    Piani, Laurette; Yurimoto, Hisayoshi; Remusat, Laurent


    Carbonaceous asteroids represent the principal source of water in the inner Solar System and might correspond to the main contributors for the delivery of water to Earth. Hydrogen isotopes in water-bearing primitive meteorites, for example carbonaceous chondrites, constitute a unique tool for deciphering the sources of water reservoirs at the time of asteroid formation. However, fine-scale isotopic measurements are required to unravel the effects of parent-body processes on the pre-accretion isotopic distributions. Here, we report in situ micrometre-scale analyses of hydrogen isotopes in six CM-type carbonaceous chondrites, revealing a dominant deuterium-poor water component (δD = -350 ± 40‰) mixed with deuterium-rich organic matter. We suggest that this deuterium-poor water corresponds to a ubiquitous water reservoir in the inner protoplanetary disk. A deuterium-rich water signature has been preserved in the least altered part of the Paris chondrite (δDParis ≥ -69 ± 163‰) in hydrated phases possibly present in the CM rock before alteration. The presence of the deuterium-enriched water signature in Paris might indicate that transfers of ice from the outer to the inner Solar System were significant within the first million years of the history of the Solar System.

  5. Antarctic Meteorite Classification and Petrographic Database (United States)

    Todd, Nancy S.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, Kevin


    The Antarctic Meteorite collection, which is comprised of over 18,700 meteorites, is one of the largest collections of meteorites in the world. These meteorites have been collected since the late 1970's as part of a three-agency agreement between NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution [1]. Samples collected each season are analyzed at NASA s Meteorite Lab and the Smithsonian Institution and results are published twice a year in the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, which has been in publication since 1978. Each newsletter lists the samples collected and processed and provides more in-depth details on selected samples of importance to the scientific community. Data about these meteorites is also published on the NASA Curation website [2] and made available through the Meteorite Classification Database allowing scientists to search by a variety of parameters

  6. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.


    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  7. Hibonite: Crystal Chemistry and Origin of Blue Coloration in Meteoritic Assemblages (United States)

    Burns, R. G.; Burns, V. M.


    The blue color and optical spectra of hibonite, a common constituent of refractory inclusions in carbonaceous chondrites, are discussed. Because they may be manifestations of exotic cation species stabilized in unusual coordination sites in the hibonite crystalstructure. Hibonite, ideally CaAl12O19, is conducive to atomic substitution of host Ca2+ and Al3+ ions by a variety of lanthanide and first series transition elements. The latter cations are responsible for the colors of many rock-forming minerals as a result of intraelectronic or intervalence transitions. The visible-region spectra of most oxide and silicate minerals are generally well understood. Assignments of absorption bands in meteoritic hibonite optical spectra due to uncertainties of cation valencies and complexities in the crystal structure are examined. The crystal chemistry of hibonite is reviewed, Mossbauer spectral measurements of iron-bearing hibonite and electronic transitions that may be responsible for the blue coloration of meteoritic hibonites are discussed.

  8. On the Q-phase of carbonaceous chondrites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vis, R.D.; Heymann, D.


    One of the unresolved puzzles of meteoritics is the nature of the carrier of the so-called heavy planetary gases. Apparently, these gases reside mainly in a minor fraction, which has been dubbed Q by Lewis et al. [R.S. Lewis, B. Srinivasan, E. Anders, Science 190 (1975) 1251] in analogy of the naming by Papanastasiou et al. [D.A. Papanastassiou, G.J. Wasserburg, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 11 (1971) 37] of a minor glassy phase in lunar rocks highly enriched in trace elements such as Pb and U. Q stands for the archaic term quintessence, the fifth or last and highest substance in ancient and medieval philosophy above fire, air, water and earth. In this contribution, an attempt is made to provide evidence that Q is carbonaceous, with carbon in the form of closed structures such as carbon nanotubes which serve as micro bottles for the heavy noble gases. To this end, Q was characterised with micro-PIXE and NRA, whereas HREM was used to search for nanotubes. Q itself was obtained as residue after chemical destruction of samples of Allende, Leoville and Vigarano

  9. Carbonaceous deposits on naptha reforming catalysts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Redwan, D.S.


    Carbonaceous deposits on naphtha reforming catalysts play a decisive role in limiting process performance. The deposits negatively after catalyst activity, selectivity and the production cycle of a semi regenerative reformer. The magnitude of negative effect of those deposits is directly proportional to their amounts and complexity. Investigations on used reforming catalysts samples reveal that the amount and type (complexity of the chemical nature) of carbonaceous deposits are directly proportional to the catalysts life on stream and the severity of operating conditions. In addition, the combustibility behavior of carbonaceous deposits on the catalyst samples taken from different reformers are found to be different. Optimal carbon removal, for in situ catalyst regeneration, requires the specific conditions be developed, based on the results of well designed and properly performed investigations of the amount and type of carbonaceous deposits. (author)

  10. 67P, Singing Comet (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina


    I would like to propose to present a short science-art-music collaboration film called "67P, Singing Comet" (5:27 min). If time of the session will allow, prior to the film I would like to make a slide show introduction to this project, highlighting the inspiration - the mission Rosetta by the European Space Agency (ESA) - and the artistic collaboration that took place in creating this piece. Inspired by the ESA Rosetta mission to the comet 67P, Ekaterina Smirnova (artist and project director, New York), Lee Mottram (clarinetist, Wales), Takuto Fukuda (composer, Japan) and Brian Hekker (video editor, New York) collaborated to create a unique atmospheric piece. Water and the origins of life throughout the Universe (specifically the Earth) is an element of the mission and the focus of Ekaterina's artistic vision. Ekaterina literally and figuratively paints a sensory assemblage using a combination of synthetic and natural elements to shape this artistic creation. To paint her watercolor works she is using a replica of the water found on the comet and implementing her own heartbeat into the music to create a recognizable inward sound of life. The Electro-Acoustic composition by Takuto Fukuda features an electronically manipulated performance by clarinetist Lee Mottram. The piece ceremoniously begins with reverberant bursts of low-register atonal bells transporting the listener to their ethereal inner origins of body and mind. The imagination takes the experience to an unknown destination as it gains speed gliding through the visual and audible textures of space and time. The comet's water similarly reacts with an ebb and flow thawing ice to potentially give life a chance as it is thrust along an orbit around the Sun. Near then far from the heat the comet forms frozen particles from vapors as it reaches it's furthest stretches creating an aerodynamic tail of icicles that slowly dissipate in a cycle that repeats itself until the comet's ultimate collision with an

  11. Numerical simulations of comets - predictions for Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fedder, J.A.; Lyon, J.G.; Giuliani, J.L. Jr.


    Simulations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's interaction with solar wind are described and results are presented. The simulations are carried out via the numerical solution of the ideal MHD equations as an initial value problem in a uniform solar wind. The calculations are performed on a Cartesian mesh centered at the comet. Results reveal that the first significant modifications of the solar wind along the ISEE/ICE trajectory will occur 100,000 km from the solar wind comet axis. 6 references

  12. CINE: Comet INfrared Excitation (United States)

    de Val-Borro, Miguel; Cordiner, Martin A.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.


    CINE calculates infrared pumping efficiencies that can be applied to the most common molecules found in cometary comae such as water, hydrogen cyanide or methanol. One of the main mechanisms for molecular excitation in comets is the fluorescence by the solar radiation followed by radiative decay to the ground vibrational state. This command-line tool calculates the effective pumping rates for rotational levels in the ground vibrational state scaled by the heliocentric distance of the comet. Fluorescence coefficients are useful for modeling rotational emission lines observed in cometary spectra at sub-millimeter wavelengths. Combined with computational methods to solve the radiative transfer equations based, e.g., on the Monte Carlo algorithm, this model can retrieve production rates and rotational temperatures from the observed emission spectrum.

  13. Comets and their origin the tools to decipher a comet

    CERN Document Server

    Meierhenrich, Uwe


    Divided into two parts, the first four chapters of Comets and their Origin refer to comets and their formation in general, describing cometary missions, comet remote observations, astrochemistry, artificial comets, and the chirality phenomenon.The second part covers the cometary Rosetta mission, its launch, journey, scientific objectives, and instrumentations, as well as the landing scenario on a cometary nucleus. Along the way, the author presents general questions concerning the origin of terrestrial water and the molecular beginnings of lifeon Earth, as well as how the instruments used on

  14. Encounter with comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagdeev, R.Z.


    This paper reports on an international armada of six spacecraft which encountered the comet Halley and performed in-situ measurements. These encounters led to the discovery of a number of cometary plasma physics phenomena. Another important result was that a value for the average density of the cometary nucleus could be estimated, which is found to be compatible with snow ball models for the nucleus

  15. Mapping Organic Materials in Carbonaceous Chondrites (United States)

    Gasda, P. J.; Taylor, G. J.; Misra, A.; Sharma, S. K.


    We present two new techniques that, together, constitute a quick first order method to characterize the insoluble organic matter (IOM), shedding light on the heterogeneity of the IOM both in its composition and its distribution in meteorites.

  16. Mercury (Hg) in meteorites: Variations in abundance, thermal release profile, mass-dependent and mass-independent isotopic fractionation (United States)

    Meier, Matthias M. M.; Cloquet, Christophe; Marty, Bernard


    We have measured the concentration, isotopic composition and thermal release profiles of Mercury (Hg) in a suite of meteorites, including both chondrites and achondrites. We find large variations in Hg concentration between different meteorites (ca. 10 ppb to 14,000 ppb), with the highest concentration orders of magnitude above the expected bulk solar system silicates value. From the presence of several different Hg carrier phases in thermal release profiles (150-650 °C), we argue that these variations are unlikely to be mainly due to terrestrial contamination. The Hg abundance of meteorites shows no correlation with petrographic type, or mass-dependent fractionation of Hg isotopes. Most carbonaceous chondrites show mass-independent enrichments in the odd-numbered isotopes 199Hg and 201Hg. We show that the enrichments are not nucleosynthetic, as we do not find corresponding nucleosynthetic deficits of 196Hg. Instead, they can partially be explained by Hg evaporation and redeposition during heating of asteroids from primordial radionuclides and late-stage impact heating. Non-carbonaceous chondrites, most achondrites and the Earth do not show these enrichments in vapor-phase Hg. All meteorites studied here have however isotopically light Hg (δ202Hg = ∼-7 to -1) relative to the Earth's average crustal values, which could suggest that the Earth has lost a significant fraction of its primordial Hg. However, the late accretion of carbonaceous chondritic material on the order of ∼2%, which has been suggested to account for the water, carbon, nitrogen and noble gas inventories of the Earth, can also contribute most or all of the Earth's current Hg budget. In this case, the isotopically heavy Hg of the Earth's crust would have to be the result of isotopic fractionation between surface and deep-Earth reservoirs.

  17. Mysterious iodine-overabundance in Antarctic meteorites (United States)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.; Schultz, L.


    Halogen as well as other trace element concentrations in meteorite finds can be influenced by alteration processes on the Earth's surface. The discovery of Antarctic meteorites offered the opportunity to study meteorites which were kept in one of the most sterile environment of the Earth. Halogen determination in Antartic meteorites was compared with non-Antarctic meteorites. No correlation was found between iodine concentration and the weathering index, or terrestrial age. The halogen measurements indicate a contaminating phase rich in iodine and also containing chlorine. Possible sources for this contamination are discussed.

  18. Mysterious iodine-overabundance in Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreibus, G.; Waenke, H.; Schultz, L.


    Halogen as well as other trace element concentrations in meteorite finds can be influenced by alteration processes on the Earth's surface. The discovery of Antarctic meteorites offered the opportunity to study meteorites which were kept in one of the most sterile environment of the Earth. Halogen determination in Antartic meteorites was compared with non-Antarctic meteorites. No correlation was found between iodine concentration and the weathering index, or terrestrial age. The halogen measurements indicate a contaminating phase rich in iodine and also containing chlorine. Possible sources for this contamination are discussed

  19. Early solar system. Early accretion of water in the inner solar system from a carbonaceous chondrite-like source. (United States)

    Sarafian, Adam R; Nielsen, Sune G; Marschall, Horst R; McCubbin, Francis M; Monteleone, Brian D


    Determining the origin of water and the timing of its accretion within the inner solar system is important for understanding the dynamics of planet formation. The timing of water accretion to the inner solar system also has implications for how and when life emerged on Earth. We report in situ measurements of the hydrogen isotopic composition of the mineral apatite in eucrite meteorites, whose parent body is the main-belt asteroid 4 Vesta. These measurements sample one of the oldest hydrogen reservoirs in the solar system and show that Vesta contains the same hydrogen isotopic composition as that of carbonaceous chondrites. Taking into account the old ages of eucrite meteorites and their similarity to Earth's isotopic ratios of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen, we demonstrate that these volatiles could have been added early to Earth, rather than gained during a late accretion event. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Moessbauer study of Slovak meteorites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J., E-mail:; Degmova, J. [Slovak University of Technology, Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (Slovakia); Porubcan, V. [Comenius University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (Slovakia)


    {sup 57}Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in the investigation of iron containing compounds of two meteorites (Rumanova and Kosice) out of total of six which had fallen on Slovak territory. In the magnetic fraction of the iron bearing compounds in the Rumanova meteorite, maghemite, troilite and Fe-Ni alloy were identified. In the non-magnetic fraction silicate phases were found, such as olivine and pyroxene. The paramagnetic component containing Fe{sup 3 + } ions corresponds probably to small superparamagnetic particles. The Kosice meteorite was found near the town of Kosice in February 2010. Its magnetic fraction consists of a Fe-Ni alloy with the Moessbauer parameters of the magnetic field corresponding to kamacite {alpha}-Fe(Ni, Co) and troilite. The non-magnetic part consists of Fe{sup 2 + } phases such as olivine and pyroxene and traces of a Fe{sup 3 + } phase. The main difference between these meteorites is their iron oxide content. These kinds of analyses can bring important knowledge about phases and compounds formed in extraterrestrial conditions, which have other features than their terrestrial analogues.

  1. Iron and stony-iron meteorites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruzicka, Alex M.; Haack, Henning; Chabot, Nancy L.


    By far most of the melted and differentiated planetesimals that have been sampled as meteorites are metal-rich iron meteorites or stony iron meteorites. The parent asteroids of these meteorites accreted early and differentiated shortly after the solar system formed, producing some of the oldest...... and interpretations for iron and stony iron meteorites (Plate 13.1). Such meteorites provide important constraints on the nature of metal-silicate separation and mixing in planetesimals undergoing partial to complete differentiation. They include iron meteorites that formed by the solidification of cores...... (fractionally crystallized irons), irons in which partly molten metal and silicates of diverse types were mixed together (silicate-bearing irons), stony irons in which partly molten metal and olivine from cores and mantles were mixed together (pallasites), and stony irons in which partly molten metal...

  2. Singing comet changes its song (United States)

    Volwerk, M.; Goetz, C.; Delva, M.; Richter, I.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Eriksson, A.; Odelstad, E.; Meier, P.; Nilsson, H.; Glassmeier, K.-H.


    The singing comet was discovered at the beginning of the Rosetta mission around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Large amplitude compressional waves with frequencies between 10 and 100 mHz were observed. When the comet became more active this signal was no longer measured. During the so-called tail excursion, late in the mission after perihelion, with again a less active comet, the singing was observed again and interestingly, going from 26 March to 27 March 2016 the character of the singing changed.

  3. Meteors, comets, and millennialism. (United States)

    McBeath, A.


    An overview of meteoric and cometary activity between circa 250 BC and circa 1600 AD is discussed with especial regard to the inclusion of meteoric imagery in Christian religious texts. Evidence is presented to suggest meteorite images played a leading role in the creation of millennial fears among adherents of the early medieval Church in Europe, which fears still persist into modern times, but which may have their origins in Mesopotamia circa 2200 BC. An extended discussion of meteoric imagery in Christian writings is also presented.

  4. Lunar Meteorites: A Global Geochemical Dataset (United States)

    Zeigler, R. A.; Joy, K. H.; Arai, T.; Gross, J.; Korotev, R. L.; McCubbin, F. M.


    To date, the world's meteorite collections contain over 260 lunar meteorite stones representing at least 120 different lunar meteorites. Additionally, there are 20-30 as yet unnamed stones currently in the process of being classified. Collectively these lunar meteorites likely represent 40-50 distinct sampling locations from random locations on the Moon. Although the exact provenance of each individual lunar meteorite is unknown, collectively the lunar meteorites represent the best global average of the lunar crust. The Apollo sites are all within or near the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT), thus lithologies from the PKT are overrepresented in the Apollo sample suite. Nearly all of the lithologies present in the Apollo sample suite are found within the lunar meteorites (high-Ti basalts are a notable exception), and the lunar meteorites contain several lithologies not present in the Apollo sample suite (e.g., magnesian anorthosite). This chapter will not be a sample-by-sample summary of each individual lunar meteorite. Rather, the chapter will summarize the different types of lunar meteorites and their relative abundances, comparing and contrasting the lunar meteorite sample suite with the Apollo sample suite. This chapter will act as one of the introductory chapters to the volume, introducing lunar samples in general and setting the stage for more detailed discussions in later more specialized chapters. The chapter will begin with a description of how lunar meteorites are ejected from the Moon, how deep samples are being excavated from, what the likely pairing relationships are among the lunar meteorite samples, and how the lunar meteorites can help to constrain the impactor flux in the inner solar system. There will be a discussion of the biases inherent to the lunar meteorite sample suite in terms of underrepresented lithologies or regions of the Moon, and an examination of the contamination and limitations of lunar meteorites due to terrestrial weathering. The

  5. Organic Nano-Grains in Comet 103P/Hartley 2: The Organic Glue of Porous Aggregate Grains? (United States)

    Wooden, D. H.; Russo, N.Dello; Li, A.; Woodward, C. E.; Kelley, M. S.; Harker, D. E.; Cook, J. C.; Vervack, R. J.; Geballe, T. R.


    organics studied as Insoluble Organic Matter in carbonaceous chondrites. Aliphatic coatings on submicron grains, however, will not be observable in absorption because they are fairly transparent, nor do the aliphatic carbonaceous coatings produce the 3.4 micron emission band because the particles they are attached to are too large (too many vibration modes). We must probe the nano-­-sized organic carriers that undergo substantive thermal fluctuations in cometary comae and emit at 3.3 3.4 micron. Observations of the 3.3 and 3.4 micron emission features contribute to characterizing the evolution of organics prior to their incorporation into cometary nuclei as well as their rapid evolution in cometary comae, which in turn contributes to deepening our understanding of the evolution of organics on the surfaces of asteroids and outer icy bodies in our solar system. Studying organics in comets contributes to understanding the formation and evolution pathways of ISM organics through to the formation of the robust insoluble organic matter in meteorites. A'Hearn, M.F., et al. 2011, Science, 332, 1396; Bockelee-­-Morvan, D. et al. 1995, Icarus, 116, 18; De Gregorio, B.T., et al. 2010, GCA, 74, 4454; Dello Russo, N., et al. 2011, ApJ, 734, L8; Dischler et al. 1983, Solid State Communications, 48, 105; Flynn, G., et al. 2010a, LPSC, 41, #1079; Flynn, G., et al. 2010b, COSPAR, 38, F31-­-0012-­-10; Flynn, G., Wirick, S. 2011, LPSC, 42, #1856; Fomenkova, et al. 1994, GCA 58, 4503; Matrajt, G., et al. 2013, ApJ, 765, 145; Schutte, et al. 1993, ApJ, 415, 397; Wooden, D.H. et al. 2011, EPSC-­-DPS, 1557; Wooden, D.H. et al. 2013, submitted.

  6. Fossil diatoms imply common cometary origin of space-dust and the Polonnaruwa meteorite (United States)

    Miyake, N.; Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.


    IDPs collected in 2001 at 40km altitude by cryosamplers studied via scanning electron microscopy and EDX were found to contain siliceous fibres and whiskers, some isolated but often embedded in a mineral matrix. The newly-arrived Polonnaruwa meteorite gives strong evidence for the hypothesis that they are fragments of diatoms agglomerating on solar system icy bodies. Diatom frustules and even whole diatom skeletons are identifiable within the meteorite. Specimens of a siliceous exoskeleton with multiple spines/whiskers have also been found, thought to be freshwater diatoms. As diatoms are dependent on a source of nitrogenous organics, the siliceous whiskers within IDPs would be an indicator of a photosynthesizing ecosystem, probably on a comet.

  7. Technical manual for COMET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Jin Ho; Kwon, Young Min; Kim, Taek Mo; Lee, Sang Jong; Jeong, Hae Yong


    The purpose of this report is to provide a description for a COMET computer code which is to be used in the analysis of mass and energy releases during post-blowdown phase of LOCA. The mass and energy data re to be used as input data for the containment functional design. This report contains a brief description of analytical models and guidelines for the usage of the computer code. This computer code is to be used for both cold leg and hot leg break analyses. A verification analyses are performed for Ulchin 3 and 4 cold and hot leg break. 11 figs (Author)

  8. On the origin of comets (United States)

    Mendis, A.; Alfven, H.


    Physico-chemical processes leading to the dynamic formation and physical evolution of comets are reviewed in relationship to the various theories that propose solar origins, protoplanetary origins, planetary origins and interstellar origins. Evidence points to the origins of comets by the growth and agglomeration of small particles from gas and dust at very low temperatures at undetermined regions in space.

  9. Inside look at Halley's comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beatty, J.K.


    The 1985-1986 emergence of Halley's comet, the first since the advent of the space age, was explored by a variety of spacecraft. The Vega 1, launched by the USSR together with the Eastern-block alliance, passed 5523 miles from the comet's nucleus at 7:20:06 Universal time. It indicated that the comet was about 300 miles closer to the sun than had been predicted. The Japanese spacecraft, Suisei, was created to map the distribution of neutral hydrogen atoms outside Halley's visible coma. Its pictures indicated that the comet's output of water varied between 25 and 60 tons per second. Five days after the Vega 2's passage through the comet, the Giotto (sponsored by the European Space Agency) probe appeared. Giotto's close approach took place 3.1 minutes after midnight UT on March 14th; the craft had passed 376 miles from its target. Giotto's data indicated that the nucleus was bigger than expected, and that the comet was composed primarily of water, CO2 and N2. The Vegas and Giotto found that as the solar wind approaches Halley, it slows gradually and the solar magnetic lines embedded in the wind begin to pile up. Pick-up ions, from the comet's halo of neutral hydrogen, were found in this solar wind. Sensors on the Vega spacecraft found a variety of plasma waves propagating inside the bow wave. In order to synthesize all the results, a conference on the exploration of Halley's comet will be held this October

  10. Molecular ions in comet tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P.A.


    Band intensities of the molecular ions CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + have been determined on an absolute scale from tail spectra of comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b). Photoionization and photodissociation rates have been computed for CH, CO, and N 2 . Also emission rate excitation g-factors for (1) photoionization plus excitation and (2) resonance fluorescence have been computed for the observed ions. It is shown that resonance fluorescence is the dominant excitation mechanism for observed comet tail ions at rapprox. =1 AU. Band system luminosities and molecular ion abundances within a projected nuclear distance rho 4 km have been determined for CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + in comet Kohoutek, and for H 2 O + in comet Bradfield. Estimates are also given for column densities of all observed ions at rhoapprox. =10 4 km on the tailward side of the coma. The observed H 2 O + column densities were found to be roughly the same in comet Kohoutek and comet Bradfield et equal heliocentric distances, while CO + was found to be approximately 100 times more abundant than H 2 O + , N 2 + , and CH + at rhoapprox. =10 4 km in comet Kohoutek. Finally, the relative abundances of the observed ions and of the presumed parent neutral species are briefly discussed

  11. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; West, Andrew A.; /MIT, MKI; Claire, Mark; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Juric, Mario; /Princeton U. Observ.; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Hall, Patrick B.; /York U., Canada; Kent, Steve; /Fermilab; Lupton, Robert H.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.


    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  12. Organic material in meteorites and the link to the origin of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remusat L.


    Full Text Available Life requires specific conditions that have been, so far, only proven to meet on Earth. Though the chemical elements required to form living organism (C, H, N, O, S, etc are widespread in the universe, the molecules that are crucial for Life, like nucleobases or amino acids, may not be so ubiquitous. The question of the formation of small and complex molecules is highly relevant to understand the process of Life origin. Carbonaceous chondrites are a class of meteorites rich in organic compounds and host potential precursors for the emergence of Life (organic matter and water. They could have been the source of complex molecules on the early Earth. This contribution will describe the main properties of the organic matter recovered from carbonaceous chondrites. However, the isotopic and molecular record of organic compounds is faded by secondary processes that occurred on the parent body of these meteorites. This results in complex signatures that raise multiple questions about the origin of organic compounds in the Solar System.

  13. Comet Halley and interstellar chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, L.E.


    How complex is the chemistry of the interstellar medium? How far does it evolve and how has it interacted with the chemistry of the solar system? Are the galactic chemical processes destroyed, preserved, or even enhanced in comets? Are biogenic molecules formed in space and have the formation mechanisms interacted in any way with prebiotic organic chemical processes on the early earth? Radio molecular studies of comets are important for probing deep into the coma and nuclear region and thus may help answer these questions. Comets are believed to be pristine samples of the debris left from the formation of the solar system and may have been the carrier between interstellar and terrestrial prebiotic chemistries. Recent observations of Comet Halley and subsequent comets have given the author an excellent opportunity to study the relationship between interstellar molecular chemistry and cometary chemistry

  14. Comet or Asteroid? (United States)


    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  15. Irradiation history of meteoritic inclusions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wielandt, Daniel Kim Peel

    Understanding the formation and earliest evolution of our solar system is a longstanding goal shared by cosmochemistry, astronomy and astrophysics. Meteorites play a key role in this pursuit, providing a ground truth against which all theories must be weighed. Chondritic meteorites are in essence...... extraterrestrial sediments that contain Calcium-Aluminium-rich Inclusions (CAIs) and chondrules that formed as individual objects during the earliest stages of solar system evolution. They later accreted together to form large bodies, after spending up to several million years in individual orbit around the proto...... of presolar and protosolar materials, as well as evidence for the former presence of over 10 extinct shortlived radionuclei of varying stability and provenance that play a key role in deciphering early solar system evolution. Some shortlived radionuclei, such as 60Fe (T½ 2.5 Myr), must have formed...

  16. Characterization of carbonaceous solids by oxygen chemisorption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furimsky, E.; Palmer, A.; Duguay, D.G.; McConnell, D.G.; Henson, D.E.


    Oxygen chemisorption of high and low carbon carbonaceous solids was measured in an electro-microbalance at 200 degrees C in air. A linear correlation between the amount of chemisorbed oxygen and H/C ratio as well as aromaticity was established for the high carbon solids. For the low carbon solids a linear correlation was established between the amount of chemisorbed oxygen and the content of organic matter. Experimental observations are discussed in terms of structural aspects of the solids. Oxygen chemisorption is a suitable technique for a rapid characterization of carbonaceous solids including coal. 15 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  17. Near-infrared polarization and color of Comet Halley: What can we learn about the grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brooke, T.Y.; Knacke, R.F.


    The near infrared polarization and JHK colors of light scattered by dust grains in comet Halley were measured over a wide range in phase angle and heliocentric distance. Colors were redder than solar with no statistically significant variation with phase angle, heliocentric distance, or pre- and post-perihelion. This suggests that the grain population did not change drastically over time and that the data may be combined and modeled. However, short term variations in visible polarization and dust albedo were seen in Halley. Also, near infrared colors became systematically bluer after the observations were completed. The near infrared colors of Halley fall in the range of those of other comets. The near infrared polarization is similar to the visible polarization of Halley and other comets in showing a negative branch at small phase angles and an approximately linear rise toward positive values at larger phase angles. Mie theory calculations and a size distribution based on spacecraft data were used to model the near infrared polarization and color of comet Halley. Numerous lines of evidence point to the presence of dark, absorbing, probably carbonaceous materials in comets

  18. Rare stable isotopes in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, G.C.


    Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) using accelerators has been applied with success to cosmic ray exposure ages and terrestrial residence times of meteorites by measuring cosmogenic nuclides of Be, Cl, and I. It is proposed to complement this work with experiments on rare stable isotopes, in the hope of setting constraints on the processes of solar nebula/meteoritic formation. The relevant species can be classified as: a) daughter products of extinct nuclides (halflife less than or equal to 2 x 10 8 y) -chronology of the early solar system; b) products of high temperature astrophysical processes - different components incorporated into the solar nebula; and c) products of relatively low temperature processes, stellar winds and cosmic ray reactions - early solar system radiation history. The use of micron-scale primary ion beams will allow detailed sampling of phases within meteorites. Strategies of charge-state selection, molecular disintegration and detection should bring a new set of targets within analytical range. The developing accelerator field is compared to existing (keV energy) ion microprobes

  19. Isotopic and chemical variation of organic nanoglobules in primitive meteorites (United States)

    de Gregorio, Bradley T.; Stroud, Rhonda M.; Nittler, Larry R.; Alexander, Conel M. O'd.; Bassim, Nabil D.; Cody, George D.; Kilcoyne, A. L. David; Sandford, Scott A.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Nuevo, Michel; Zega, Thomas J.


    Organic nanoglobules are microscopic spherical carbon-rich objects present in chondritic meteorites and other astromaterials. We performed a survey of the morphology, organic functional chemistry, and isotopic composition of 184 nanoglobules in insoluble organic matter (IOM) residues from seven primitive carbonaceous chondrites. Hollow and solid nanoglobules occur in each IOM residue, as well as globules with unusual shapes and structures. Most nanoglobules have an organic functional chemistry similar to, but slightly more carboxyl-rich than, the surrounding IOM, while a subset of nanoglobules have a distinct, highly aromatic functionality. The range of nanoglobule N isotopic compositions was similar to that of nonglobular 15N-rich hotspots in each IOM residue, but nanoglobules account for only about one third of the total 15N-rich hotspots in each sample. Furthermore, many nanoglobules in each residue contained no 15N enrichment above that of bulk IOM. No morphological indicators were found to robustly distinguish the highly aromatic nanoglobules from those that have a more IOM-like functional chemistry, or to distinguish 15N-rich nanoglobules from those that are isotopically normal. The relative abundance of aromatic nanoglobules was lower, and nanoglobule diameters were greater, in more altered meteorites, suggesting the creation/modification of IOM-like nanoglobules during parent-body processing. However, 15N-rich nanoglobules, including many with highly aromatic functional chemistry, likely reflect preaccretionary isotopic fractionation in cold molecular cloud or protostellar environments. These data indicate that no single formation mechanism can explain all of the observed characteristics of nanoglobules, and their properties are likely a result of multiple processes occurring in a variety of environments.

  20. Styding of meteorites of Geological museum (Kazan Federal University): magnetic properties and elemental composition (United States)

    Kuzina, D.; Nourgaliev, D. K.; Gareev, B. I.; Batalin, G. A.; Silantiev, V. V.


    Investigations of different types meteorites were performed by non-destructive method using polycapillary Micro X-ray Fluorescence spectrometer M4 Tornado (Bruker). Analysis conditions were chosen individually, depending on a sample. Maximum possible current is 600mkA, voltage - up to 50 kV, minimum size of X-ray point from 25 micron. Result of the measurements is elements distribution on the surface of meteorites. Obtained data used for analyzing conclusions in chondrites, find out iron, nickel distribution in the sample (for comparison with thermomagnetic data), studying secondary alterations such as melting, diffusion. Meteorites which have small amount of material after preparing exhibition samples were studied using thermomagnetic analysis among them: Brownfield-iron (IID), Ochansk - ordinary chondrite (H4), Murchison - carbonaceous chondrite (CM2), Kainsaz - carbonaceous chondrite (CO3.2) and others. Thermomagnetic analysis shows us magneto-mineralogical composition. It makes reliably detection of pure Fe, Ni or their alloys. Measurements were carried out on express Curie balance, constructed in Laboratory of magnetism and paleomagnetism of Kazan Federal University [1]. We measured induced magnetization as a function of temperature in a constant magnetic field - 400 mT. The heating rate is 100°C/min. Thermomagnetic curves measured twice - first and second heating up to 800°C. The weight of the sample is maximum 0.1 gram. Results shows that all samples contain Fe-Ni alloys and according [2] it corresponds to Ni concentration between 4-10%. [1] Burov B.V. et al. 1986. Kazan: Publishing house of KSU, 167 p. (In Russian). [2] Cacciamani C. et al. 2006. Intermetallics, 14. 1312-1325

  1. A Case for Nebula Scale Mixing Between Non-Carbonaceous and Carbonaceous Chondrite Reservoirs: Testing the Grand Tack Model with Chromium Isotopic Composition of Almahata Sitta Stone 91A (United States)

    Sanborn, M. E.; Yin, Q.-Z.; Goodrich, C. A.; Zolensky, M.; Fioretti, A. M.


    There is an increasing number of Cr-O-Ti isotope studies that show solar system materials are divided into two main populations, one carbonaceous chondrite (CC)-like and the other is non-carbonaceous (NC)-like, with minimal mixing attributed to a gap opened in the protoplanetary disk due to Jupiter's formation. The Grand Tack model suggests there should be large-scale mixing between S- and C-type asteroids, an idea supported by our recent work on chondrule (Delta)17O-e54Cr isotope systematics. The Almahata Sitta (AhS) meteorite provides a unique opportunity to test the Grand Tack model. The meteorite fell to Earth in October 2008 and has been linked to the asteroid 2008 TC3 which was discovered just prior to the fall of the AhS stones. The AhS meteorite is composed of up to 700 individual pieces with approx.140 of those pieces having some geochemical and/or petrologic studies. Almahata Sitta is an anomalous polymict ureilite with other meteorite components, including enstatite, ordinary, and carbonaceous chondrites with an approximate abundance of 70% ureilites and 30% chondrites. This observation has lead to the suggestion that TC3 2008 was a loosely aggregated rubble pile-like asteroid with the non-ureilite sample clasts within the rubble-pile. Due to the loosely-aggregated nature of AhS, the object disintegrated during atmospheric entry resulting in the weakly held clasts falling predominantly as individual stones in the AhS collection area. However, recent work has identified one sample of AhS, sample 91A, which may represent two different lithologies coexisting within a single stone. The predominate lithology type in 91A appears to be that of a C2 chondrite based on mineralogy but also contains olivine, pyroxene, and albite that have ureilite-like compositions. Previous Cr isotope investigations into AhS stones are sparse and what data is available show nearly uniform isotopic composition similar to that of typical ureilites with negative e54Cr values.

  2. EPOXI at comet Hartley 2. (United States)

    A'Hearn, Michael F; Belton, Michael J S; Delamere, W Alan; Feaga, Lori M; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P; McFadden, Lucy A; Meech, Karen J; Melosh, H Jay; Schultz, Peter H; Sunshine, Jessica M; Thomas, Peter C; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D; Yeomans, Donald K; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J; Carcich, Brian T; Collins, Steven M; Farnham, Tony L; Groussin, Olivier; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S; Kelley, Michael S; Li, Jian-Yang; Lindler, Don J; Lisse, Carey M; McLaughlin, Stephanie A; Merlin, Frédéric; Protopapa, Silvia; Richardson, James E; Williams, Jade L


    Understanding how comets work--what drives their activity--is crucial to the use of comets in studying the early solar system. EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation) flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus, taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nucleus is outgassing primarily because of CO(2), which drags chunks of ice out of the nucleus. It also shows substantial differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  3. Comets in the space age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.


    The historical development of the study of the nature of comets and their origin is discussed, emphasizing the use of aerospace technology in cometary science. The use of satellites to study the Comet Kohoutek 1973 XII, advances between Kohoutek and P/Halley, and studies of P/Halley during its 1986 return are examined. Consideration is given to data from ground, air, and space sensors, and from the Giotto and Vega spacecraft missions. Also, the physical structure of the nucleus of Comet Halley is described. 136 refs

  4. Stable chromium isotopic composition of meteorites and metal-silicate experiments: Implications for fractionation during core formation (United States)

    Bonnand, P.; Williams, H. M.; Parkinson, I. J.; Wood, B. J.; Halliday, A. N.


    We present new mass independent and mass dependent Cr isotope compositions for meteorites measured by double spike thermal ionisation mass spectrometry. Small differences in both mass independent 53Cr and 54Cr relative to the Bulk Silicate Earth are reported and are very similar to previously published values. Carbonaceous chondrites are characterised by an excess in 54Cr compared to ordinary and enstatite chondrites which make mass independent Cr isotopes a useful tool for distinguishing between meteoritic groups. Mass dependent stable Cr isotope compositions for the same samples are also reported. Carbonaceous and ordinary chondrites are identical within uncertainty with average δ53 Cr values of - 0.118 ± 0.040 ‰ and - 0.143 ± 0.074 ‰ respectively. The heaviest isotope compositions are recorded by an enstatite chondrite and a CO carbonaceous chondrite, both of which have relatively reduced chemical compositions implying some stable Cr isotope fractionation related to redox processes in the circumstellar disk. The average δ53 Cr values for chondrites are within error of the estimate for the Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) also determined by double spiking. The lack of isotopic difference between chondritic material and the BSE provides evidence that Cr isotopes were not fractionated during core formation on Earth. A series of high-pressure experiments was also carried out to investigate stable Cr isotope fractionation between metal and silicate and no demonstrable fractionation was observed, consistent with our meteorites data. Mass dependent Cr isotope data for achondrites suggest that Cr isotopes are fractionated during magmatic differentiation and therefore further work is required to constrain the Cr isotopic compositions of the mantles of Vesta and Mars.

  5. The molecular structure of the insoluble organic matter isolated from Murchison carbonaceous chondrite. (United States)

    Robert, F.; Derenne, S.


    During these last 10 years, our group has characterized the various molecular moieties of the insoluble organic matter (IOM) isolated from carbonaceous meteorites with the aim of reconstructing its overall molecular structure. Indeed, a precise knowledge of the structure of an organic macromolecule contains irreplaceable information that traces its mechanisms of synthesis and its conditions of formation. Such a modelled structure will be presented. Carbonaceous chondrites contain up to 3 wt % of carbon that is under the form of soluble and insoluble fractions. The IOM, which constitutes more than 75 wt% of the bulk organic matter, was isolated from the bulk rock through successive acid dissolutions. The chemical structure of the isolated IOM has been studied by both (1) destructive and (2) non destructive methods. Methods include thermal and chemical degradations followed by GC/MS, spectroscopic techniques (nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier transform infra red spectroscopy; X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance) along with high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Although each technique alone cannot provide definite information on the chemical structure of such a complex material, the combination of the results can be used to reconstruct the molecular structure of the IOM. The proposed structure accounts for all these measured parameters. The details of this structure reveal information of the conditions of its formation in space and allow to discuss the mechanisms of organo-synthesis in the cosmochemical context of the formation of the solar system.

  6. I. T. - R. O. C. K. S. Comet Nuclei Sample Return Mission (United States)

    Dalcher, N.


    samples will be performed by touch and go manoeuvres and a penetrator device [10]. Solar arrays are used as energy source and additional cooling is required to keep the samples at low temperatures (Lisse C., Schultz P., Meech K. J., Delamere W. A. Icarus 187,4-15 (2007). [4] Simon S.B., Joswiak D.J., Ishii H.A., Bradley J.P., Chi M., Grossman L., Aléon J., Brownlee D.E., Fallon S., Hutcheon I.D., Matrajt G., Mckeegan K.D.: Refractory Inclusion Returned by Stardust from Comet P81/Wild 2. Meteoritics and Planetary Science (2007). [5] George D. Cody, Harald Ade, Conel M. O'D. Alexander, Tohru Araki, Anna Butterworth, Holger Fleckenstein, George Flynn, Mary K. Gilles, Chris Jacobsen, A.L. D. Kilcoyne, Keiko Messenger, Scott A. Sandford, Tolek Tyliszczak, Andrew J.Westphal4, Susan Wirick, and Hikaru Yabuta. Quantitative Organic and Light Element analysis of Comet 81P/Wild 2 particles using C-, N-, and O- µ-XANES, Meteoretics and Planetary Science: In Press. [6] Stern, S. et al. Alice: The Rosetta Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph. Space Science Reviews 128, 507-527 (2007). [7] Balsiger, H. et al. Rosina-Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis. Space Science Reviews 128, 745-801 (2007). [8] Colangeli, L. et al. The Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator (GIADA) Experiment for the Rosetta Mission: Design, Performances and First Results. Space Science Reviews 128, 803-821 (2007). [9] Yoshimitsu, T., Kubota, T., Nakatani, I., Adachi, T. & Saito, H. Micro-hopping robot for asteroid exploration. Acta Astronautica 52, 441-446 (2003). [10] Lorenz, R. et al. Demonstration of comet sample collection by penetrator. ESA SP-542, 387-393 (2003). [11] Küppers et al. Triple F—a comet nucleus sample return mission. Experimental Astronomy, Online First (2008).

  7. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.


    Data on the nitrogen-containing compounds that observed spectroscopically in the coma of Comet Halley are summarized, and the elemental abundance of nitrogen in the Comet Halley nucleus is derived. It is found that 90 percent of elemental nitrogen is in the dust fraction of the coma, while in the gas fraction, most of the nitrogen is contained in NH3 and CN. The elemental nitrogen abundance in the ice component of the nucleus was found to be deficient by a factor of about 75, relative to the solar photosphere, indicating that the chemical partitioning of N2 into NH3 and other nitrogen compounds during the evolution of the solar nebula cannot account completely for the low abundance ratio N2/NH3 = 0.1, observed in the comet. It is suggested that the low N2/NH3 ratio in Comet Halley may be explained simply by physical fractionation and/or thermal diffusion. 88 refs

  8. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites (United States)


    The session Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites includes the following topics: 1) Investigating the Impact of UV Radiation on High-Altitude Shallow Lake Habitats, Life Diversity, and Life Survival Strategies: Clues for Mars' Past Habitability Potential? 2) An Analysis of Potential Photosynthetic Life on Mars; 3) Radiation Inactivation of Bacterial spores on Mars; 4) Hydrophobic Surfaces of Spacecraft Components Enhance the Aggregation of Microorganisms and May Lead to Higher Survival Rates of Bacteria on Mars Landers; 5) Optical Detection of Organic Chemical Biosignatures at Hydrothermal Vents; 6) Signs of Life in Meridiani Planum-What Might Opportunity See (or Miss)? 7) Isolation of PUrines and Pyrimidines from the Murchison Meteorite Using Sublimation; and 8) Relative Amino Acid Composition of CM1 Carbonaceous Chondrites.

  9. Gerontology of the Allende meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jessberger, A.K.; Dominik, B.


    In the Allende meteorite several elements are found to have an isotopic composition that cannot be due to radioactive or spallation or fractionation processes. These isotope anomalies are mostly confined to white inclusions enriched in refractory elements (Ca-Al-rich inclusions) and are thought to be introduced into the Solar System by precondensed grains. The results of the Ar 40 -Ar 39 analysis of some coarse grained Allende inclusions that showed ages in excess of 4,550 Myr are here reported. (author)

  10. NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program (United States)

    Foxworth, Suzanne


    The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is designed for K-12 classroom educators who work in K-12 schools, museums, libraries, or planetariums. Educators have to be certified to borrow the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disks by attending a NASA Certification Workshop provided by a NASA Authorized Sample Disk Certifier.

  11. Solar flare irradiation records in Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goswami, J.N.


    Observations of solar flare heavy nuclei tracks in eight Antartic meteorite samples are reported. Two of these were interior specimens from an L-3 chondrite which contained track-rich grains (olivine) indicating their exposure to solar flare irradiation before compaction of the meteorite. Preliminary noble gas data also indicate the presence of solar-type gases. (U.K.)

  12. Production of Organic Grain Coatings by Surface-Mediated Reactions and the Consequences of This Process for Meteoritic Constituents (United States)

    Nuth, Joseph A., III; Johnson, Natasha M.


    When hydrogen, nitrogen and CO are exposed to amorphous iron silicate surfaces at temperatures between 500 - 900K, a carbonaceous coating forms via Fischer-Tropsch type reactions. Under normal circumstances such a catalytic coating would impede or stop further reaction. However, we find that this coating is a better catalyst than the amorphous iron silicates that initiate these reactions. The formation of a self-perpetuating catalytic coating on grain surfaces could explain the rich deposits of macromolecular carbon found in primitive meteorites and would imply that protostellar nebulae should be rich in organic material. Many more experiments are needed to understand this chemical system and its application to protostellar nebulae.

  13. Structure and isotopic ratios of aliphatic side chains in the insoluble organic matter of the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite (United States)

    Huang, Yongsong; Alexandre, Marcelo R.; Wang, Yi


    We report in this paper the first molecular and isotopic characterization of individual aliphatic side chains from the insoluble organic matter (IOM) in the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite using a novel combined approach of RuO 4 oxidation and solid phase microextraction (SPME). The aliphatic side chains in the IOM of Murchison were first released by oxidizing aromatic structures using RuO 4. Because the IOM of carbonaceous chondrites contains predominantly short (C 1 to C 9) aliphatic substitutions, the resulting low molecular weight monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) are highly volatile and water-soluble. The conventional aqueous extraction and derivatization procedures following RuO 4 oxidation are unable to recover MCAs for subsequent analyses. We overcame this problem by employing SPME to directly capture the MCAs from the aqueous solution. We selected a SPME fiber with greater affinity for longer chain monoacids to compensate for the exponential decline of monoacid concentrations with increasing carbon numbers in meteorite IOM, allowing more accurate identification and quantification for the less abundant monoacids. We also determined the carbon and hydrogen isotopic ratios of individual MCAs derived from Murchinson IOM. Our results reveal significant similarity in both molecular structures and hydrogen isotopic ratios between the IOM aliphatic side chains and water-soluble MCAs in Murchison, suggesting that these compounds had common precursors. Our combined new approach of RuO 4 oxidation-SPME provides a new way to probe the molecular and isotopic characteristics of aliphatic side chains in carbonaceous chondrites.

  14. Effects of secondary alteration on the composition of free and IOM-derived monocarboxylic acids in carbonaceous chondrites (United States)

    Aponte, José C.; Alexandre, Marcelo R.; Wang, Yi; Brearley, Adrian J.; Alexander, Conel M. O.'D.; Huang, Yongsong


    Monocarboxylic acids (MCAs) are important astrobiologically because they are often the most abundant soluble compounds in carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) and are potential synthetic end products for many biologically important compounds. However, there has been no systematic study on the effect of parent body alteration on molecular and isotopic variability of MCAs. Since MCAs in meteorites are dominated by low molecular weight (C1-C8), highly volatile compounds, their distributions are likely to be particularly sensitive to secondary alteration processes. In contrast, the aliphatic side chains of insoluble organic matter (IOM) in CCs, whose composition has been shown to be closely related to the MCAs, may be far more resistant to secondary alteration. In the present study, we determined the distributions and isotopic ratios of free and IOM-derived MCAs in six carbonaceous chondrites with a range of classifications: Murchison (CM2), EET 87770 (CR2), ALH 83034 (CM1), ALH 83033 (CM2), MET 00430 (CV3) and WIS 91600 (C2). We compare mineralogical and petrological characteristics to the MCAs distributions to better define the processes leading to the synthesis and alteration of meteoritic MCAs. Our results show that aqueous and especially thermal alteration in the parent bodies led to major loss of free MCAs and depletion of straight relative to branched chain compounds. However, the MCAs derived from aliphatic side chains of IOM are well preserved despite of secondary alterations. The molecular and isotopic similarities of IOM-derived MCAs in different chondrite samples indicate very similar synthetic histories for organic matter in different meteorites.

  15. Correlated Amino Acid and Mineralogical Analyses of Milligram and Submilligram Samples of Carbonaceous Chondrite Lonewolf Nunataks 94101 (United States)

    Burton, S.; Berger, E. L.; Locke, D. R.; Lewis, E. K.


    Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, have been found to be indigenous in the eight carbonaceous chondrite groups. The abundances, structural, enantiomeric and isotopic compositions of amino acids differ significantly among meteorites of different groups and petrologic types. These results suggest parent-body conditions (thermal or aqueous alteration), mineralogy, and the preservation of amino acids are linked. Previously, elucidating specific relationships between amino acids and mineralogy was not possible because the samples analyzed for amino acids were much larger than the scale at which petrologic heterogeneity is observed (sub mm-scale differences corresponding to sub-mg samples); for example, Pizzarello and coworkers measured amino acid abundances and performed X-ray diffraction (XRD) on several samples of the Murchison meteorite, but these analyses were performed on bulk samples that were 500 mg or larger. Advances in the sensitivity of amino acid measurements by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-FD/TOF-MS), and application of techniques such as high resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) for mineralogical characterizations have now enabled coordinated analyses on the scale at which mineral heterogeneity is observed. In this work, we have analyzed samples of the Lonewolf Nunataks (LON) 94101 CM2 carbonaceous chondrite. We are investigating the link(s) between parent body processes, mineralogical context, and amino acid compositions in meteorites on bulk samples (approx. 20mg) and mineral separates (< or = 3mg) from several of spatial locations within our allocated samples. Preliminary results of these analyses are presented here.

  16. Annual Occurrence of Meteorite-Dropping Fireballs (United States)

    Konovalova, Natalia; Jopek, Tadeusz J.


    The event of Chelyabinsk meteorite has brought about change the earlier opinion about limits of the sizes of potentially dangerous asteroidal fragments that crossed the Earth's orbit and irrupted in the Earth's atmosphere making the brightest fireball. The observations of the fireballs by fireball networks allows to get the more precise data on atmospheric trajectories and coordinates of predicted landing place of the meteorite. For the reason to search the periods of fireball activity is built the annual distribution of the numbers of meteorites with the known fall dates and of the meteorite-dropping fireballs versus the solar longitude. The resulting profile of the annual activity of meteorites and meteorite-dropping fireballs shows several periods of increased activity in the course of the year. The analysis of the atmospheric trajectories and physical properties of sporadic meteorite-dropping fireballs observed in Tajikistan by instrumental methods in the summer‒autumn periods of increased fireballs activity has been made. As a result the structural strength, the bulk density and terminal mass of the studied fireballs that can survive in the Earth atmosphere and became meteorites was obtained. From the photographic IAU MDC_2003 meteor database and published sources based on the orbit proximity as determined by D-criterion of Southworth and Hawkins the fireballs that could be the members of group of meteorite-dropping fireballs, was found. Among the near Earth's objects (NEOs) the searching for parent bodies for meteorite-dropping fireballs was made and the evolution of orbits of these objects in the past on a long interval of time was investigated.

  17. Craters on comets (United States)

    Vincent, J.; Oklay, N.; Marchi, S.; Höfner, S.; Sierks, H.


    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. ''Pits'' have been observed on almost all cometary nuclei but their origin is not fully understood [1,2,3,4]. It is currently assumed that they are created mainly by the cometary activity with a pocket of volatiles erupting under a dust crust, leaving a hole behind. There are, however, other features which cannot be explained in this way and are interpreted alternatively as remnants of impact craters. This work focusses on the second type of pit features: impact craters. We present an in-depth review of what has been observed previously and conclude that two main types of crater morphologies can be observed: ''pit-halo'' and ''sharp pit''. We extend this review by a series of analysis of impact craters on cometary nuclei through different approaches [5]: (1) Probability of impact: We discuss the chances that a Jupiter Family Comet like 9P/Tempel 1 or the target of Rosetta 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can experience an impact, taking into account the most recent work on the size distribution of small objects in the asteroid Main Belt [6]. (2) Crater morphology from scaling laws: We present the status of scaling laws for impact craters on cometary nuclei [7] and discuss their strengths and limitations when modeling what happens when a rocky projectile hits a very porous material. (3) Numerical experiments: We extend the work on scaling laws by a series of hydrocode impact simulations, using the iSALE shock physics code [8,9,10] for varying surface porosity and impactor velocity (see Figure). (4) Surface processes and evolution: We discuss finally the fate of the projectile and the effects of the impact-induced surface compaction on the activity of the nucleus. To summarize, we find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous

  18. Studies on New Halfa Meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdu, Y.A.M.


    Mossbauer spectroscopy in the temperature range (295 deg K - 4.2 deg K), electron microprobe, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements have been carried out for the investigation of a Sudanese meteorite, named New Halfa, from a new fall. The specimen contains well defined chondrules which consist mainly of radiating orthopyroxene and olivine. The XRD and the microprobe analysis show the presence of the silicate phases (olivine and pyroxene), iron sulphide (troilite), and Fe-Ni alloys (kamacite and taenite). The olivine appears to have a constant composition throughout the specimen, whereas pyroxene have a varying composition and both orthopyroxene (which is the dominant pyroxene) and clinopyroxene were present. The microprobe trace of Ni concentration across a kamacite-taenite-kamacite area shows a high Ni concentration at the interface between kamacite and taenite phases. The room temperature Mossbauer spectrum is fitted with with three sextets and two doublets. The sextets were assigned Fe in troilite, kamacite and taenite, and the two doublets to Fe 2+ in olivine and pyroxene (no Fe 3+ was found). The Mossbauer spectrum at 4.2 K shows that olivine, which is paramagnetic at room temperature, is magnetic showing relaxation effects. The Mossbauer data of this meteorite confirm it as an ordinary L-chondrite. (author). 19 refs., 5 tabs., 17 figs

  19. Meteorite Source Regions as Revealed by the Near-Earth Object Population (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Burt, Brian J.; Polishook, David; Burbine, Thomas H.; Bus, Schelte J.; Tokunaga, Alan; Birlan, Mirel


    Spectroscopic and taxonomic information is now available for 1000 near-Earth objects, having been obtained through both targeted surveys (e.g. [1], [2], [3]) or resulting from all-sky surveys (e.g. [4]). We determine their taxonomic types in the Bus-DeMeo system [5] [6] and subsequently examine meteorite correlations based on spectral analysis (e.g. [7],[8]). We correlate our spectral findings with the source region probabilities calculated using the methods of Bottke et al. [9]. In terms of taxonomy, very clear sources are indicated: Q-, Sq-, and S-types most strongly associated with ordinary chondrite meteorites show clear source signatures through the inner main-belt. V-types are relatively equally balanced between nu6 and 3:1 resonance sources, consistent with the orbital dispersion of the Vesta family. B- and C-types show distinct source region preferences for the outer belt and for Jupiter family comets. A Jupiter family comet source predominates for the D-type near-Earth objects, implying these "asteroidal" bodies may be extinct or dormant comets [10]. Similarly, near-Earth objects falling in the spectrally featureless "X-type" category also show a strong outer belt and Jupiter family comet source region preference. Finally the Xe-class near-Earth objects, which most closely match the spectral properties of enstatite achondrite (aubrite) meteorites seen in the Hungaria region[11], show a source region preference consistent with a Hungaria origin by entering near-Earth space through the Mars crossing and nu6 resonance pathways. This work supported by the National Science Foundation Grant 0907766 and NASA Grant NNX10AG27G.[1] Lazzarin, M. et al. (2004), Mem. S. A. It. Suppl. 5, 21. [2] Thomas, C. A. et al. (2014), Icarus 228, 217. [3] Tokunaga, A. et al. (2006) BAAS 38, 59.07. [4] Hasselmann, P. H., Carvano, J. M., Lazzaro, D. (2011) NASA PDS, EAR-A-I0035-5-SDSSTAX-V1.0. [5] Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. (2002). Icarus 158, 146. [6] DeMeo, F.E. et al. (2009), Icarus

  20. Baking process of thin plate carbonaceous compact

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Yoshio; Shimada, Toyokazu


    As a production process of a thin plate carbonaceous compact for separator of phosphoric acid fuel cell, there is a process to knead carbonaceous powder and thermosetting resin solution, to form and harden the kneaded material and then to bake, carbonize and graphitize it. However in this baking and carbonization treatment, many thin plate compacts are set in a compiled manner within a heating furnace and receive a heat treatment from their circumference. Since the above compacts to be heated tend generally to be heated from their peripheries, their baked conditions are not homogeneous easily causing the formation of cracks, etc.. As a process to heat and bake homogeneously by removing the above problematical points, this invention offers a process to set in a heating furnace a laminate consisting of the lamination of thin plate carbonaceous compacts and the heat resistant soaking plates which hold the upper and lower ends of the above lamination, to fill the upper and under peripheries of the laminate above with high heat conductive packing material and its side periphery with low heat conductive packing material respectively and to heat and sinter it. In addition, the invention specifies the high and low heat conductive packing materials respectively. (1 fig, 2 tabs)

  1. Chemical evolution of interstellar dust, comets and the origins of life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenberg, J.M.; Zhao, N.; Hage, J.


    The chemistry and morphological structure of a comet nucleus as an aggregate of interstellar dust is used to provide comparisons with a variety of comet Halley results: the density of the nucleus and of the dust; the dust cloud model and its consequences on the production of C + and CN in the coma by small organic grains; the surface albedo and the low nucleus heat conductivity and high surface temperature; the appearance of 10 -14 g and 10 -17 g dust particles along with higher masses; the mass spectra of dust and infrared spectroscopy as evidence for complex organic grain mantles and of very small carbonaceous and silicate grains; the appearence of small grains resulting from breakup of larger grains. The cosmic ray dosage of a comet nucleus during its 4.5 billion years in the Oort cloud appears to be many orders of magnitude less than the dosage of the preaggregated interstellar dust by ultraviolet photons except perhaps in the outer few meters of the nucleus of a new comet. The heat conductivity calculated for aggregated dust is certainly less than 10 -4 that of crystalline ice. This, in combination with the interstellar dust microstructure, provide a basis for showing that solar heating of the interior of a nucleus is lower than previously estimated

  2. Moessbauer study of El-Bahrain meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bahgat, A.A.; Ahmed, M.A.; Ramadan, T.M.


    A stone of brick-like shape, measuring roughly 25 x 12.5 x 10.5 cm 3 and weighing 14 kg was found in 1983, in the western desert of Egypt. The meteorite was named El-Bahrain meteorite and classified as L-chondrite. Principal constituents of El-Bahrain meteorite have been studied by means of Moessbauer spectroscopy. The chemical composition as obtained by the conventional wet analyses of L-chondritic meteorites showed that the meteorite contains 23,38% Fe and 1.23% Ni. While the analysis of the atomic absorption showed the presence of 27.03% as a total iron. The Moessbauer analysis of El-Bahrain meteorite showed that the iron constituent minerals were determined to be olivine, metallic iron-nickel alloys (kamacite, taenite and tetrataenite), ferrous sulfide (troilite) and weathering products such as maghemite and nanocrystalline hematite. The structure of meteoritic iron obtained by the Moessbauer analysis has been discussed on the basis of these constituents. (author)

  3. Combining meteorites and missions to explore Mars. (United States)

    McCoy, Timothy J; Corrigan, Catherine M; Herd, Christopher D K


    Laboratory studies of meteorites and robotic exploration of Mars reveal scant atmosphere, no evidence of plate tectonics, past evidence for abundant water, and a protracted igneous evolution. Despite indirect hints, direct evidence of a martian origin came with the discovery of trapped atmospheric gases in one meteorite. Since then, the study of martian meteorites and findings from missions have been linked. Although the meteorite source locations are unknown, impact ejection modeling and spectral mapping of Mars suggest derivation from small craters in terrains of Amazonian to Hesperian age. Whereas most martian meteorites are young ( 4.5 Ga and formation of enriched and depleted reservoirs. However, the history inferred from martian meteorites conflicts with results from recent Mars missions, calling into doubt whether the igneous histor y inferred from the meteorites is applicable to Mars as a whole. Allan Hills 84001 dates to 4.09 Ga and contains fluid-deposited carbonates. Accompanying debate about the mechanism and temperature of origin of the carbonates came several features suggestive of past microbial life in the carbonates. Although highly disputed, the suggestion spurred interest in habitable extreme environments on Earth and throughout the Solar System. A flotilla of subsequent spacecraft has redefined Mars from a volcanic planet to a hydrologically active planet that may have harbored life. Understanding the history and habitability of Mars depends on understanding the coupling of the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface. Sample return that brings back direct evidence from these diverse reservoirs is essential.

  4. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiizumi, K.


    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40

  5. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites (United States)

    Nishiizumi, K.


    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40.

  6. Tellurium stable isotope fractionation in chondritic meteorites and some terrestrial samples (United States)

    Fehr, Manuela A.; Hammond, Samantha J.; Parkinson, Ian J.


    New methodologies employing a 125Te-128Te double-spike were developed and applied to obtain high precision mass-dependent tellurium stable isotope data for chondritic meteorites and some terrestrial samples by multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Analyses of standard solutions produce Te stable isotope data with a long-term reproducibility (2SD) of 0.064‰ for δ130/125Te. Carbonaceous and enstatite chondrites display a range in δ130/125Te of 0.9‰ (0.2‰ amu-1) in their Te stable isotope signature, whereas ordinary chondrites present larger Te stable isotope fractionation, in particular for unequilibrated ordinary chondrites, with an overall variation of 6.3‰ for δ130/125Te (1.3‰ amu-1). Tellurium stable isotope variations in ordinary chondrites display no correlation with Te contents or metamorphic grade. The large Te stable isotope fractionation in ordinary chondrites is likely caused by evaporation and condensation processes during metamorphism in the meteorite parent bodies, as has been suggested for other moderately and highly volatile elements displaying similar isotope fractionation. Alternatively, they might represent a nebular signature or could have been produced during chondrule formation. Enstatite chondrites display slightly more negative δ130/125Te compared to carbonaceous chondrites and equilibrated ordinary chondrites. Small differences in the Te stable isotope composition are also present within carbonaceous chondrites and increase in the order CV-CO-CM-CI. These Te isotope variations within carbonaceous chondrites may be due to mixing of components that have distinct Te isotope signatures reflecting Te stable isotope fractionation in the early solar system or on the parent bodies and potentially small so-far unresolvable nucleosynthetic isotope anomalies of up to 0.27‰. The Te stable isotope data of carbonaceous and enstatite chondrites displays a general correlation with the oxidation state and hence might

  7. Disequilibrium Chemistry in the Solar Nebula and Early Solar System: Implications for the Chemistry of Comets (United States)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.


    A growing body of observations demonstrates that comets, like the chondritic meteorites, are disequilibrium assemblages, whose chemistry and molecular composition cannot be explained solely on the basis of models of equilibrium condensation in the solar nebula. These observations include: (1) The coexistence of reduced (e.g., CH4 and organics) and oxidized (e.g., CO, CO2, and H2CO) carbon compounds observed in the gas and dust emitted by comet P/Halley; (2) The coexistence of reduced (e.g., NH3) and oxidized (e.g., N2) nitrogen compounds in the gas emitted by comet P/Halley; (3) The observation of large amounts of formaldehyde in the gas emitted by comet P/Halley (H2CO/H2O approx. 1.5 - 4%) and by comet Machholz (1988j). Formaldehyde would be rapidly destroyed by thermal processing in the solar nebula and must be formed by some disequilibrating process either in the solar nebula or in some presolar environment. (4) The observation of large amounts of the oxidized carbon gases CO and CO2 in comet P/Halley at levels far exceeding those predicted by chemical equilibrium models of solar nebula carbon chemistry. In fact, oxidized carbon gases (CO+ C02 + H2CO) are the most abundant volatile (after water vapor) emitted by comet P/Halley. (5) The observation of HCN, which is not a predicted low temperature condensate in the solar nebula (e.g., Lewis 1972), in comet P/Halley (e.g., Schloerb et al. 1987) and in comet Kohoutek. (6) The observation of S2, which is argued to be a parent molecule vaporized from the nucleus, in comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983d) by A'Hearn et aL (1983) and Feldman et al. (1984). This molecule is not an equilibrium condensate in the solar nebula and must result from disequilibrium chemistry. (7) The deduction that organic grains (C-H-O-N particles) comprise about 30% of the dust emitted by comet P/Halley and that about 75% of the total carbon inventory of Halley is in these grains also implies substantial disequilibrium chemistry. (8) The deductions

  8. Comet showers and Nemesis, the death star

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.


    The recently proposed hypothesis that the periodic extinctions of terrestrial species are the result of comet showers catalyzed by a hypothetical distant solar companion, Nemesis, a tale of global death by comet bombardment of the earth, is discussed


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesvorny, David; Levison, Harold F.; Bottke, William F.; Jenniskens, Peter; Vokrouhlicky, David; Gounelle, Matthieu


    The zodiacal cloud is a thick circumsolar disk of small debris particles produced by asteroid collisions and comets. Their relative contribution and how particles of different sizes dynamically evolve to produce the observed phenomena of light scattering, thermal emission, and meteoroid impacts are unknown. Until now, zodiacal cloud models have been phenomenological in nature, composed of ad hoc components with properties not understood from basic physical processes. Here, we present a zodiacal cloud model based on the orbital properties and lifetimes of comets and asteroids, and on the dynamical evolution of dust after ejection. The model is quantitatively constrained by Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) observations of thermal emission, but also qualitatively consistent with other zodiacal cloud observations, with meteor observations, with spacecraft impact experiments, and with properties of recovered micrometeorites (MMs). We find that particles produced by Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) are scattered by Jupiter before they are able to orbitally decouple from the planet and drift down to 1 AU. Therefore, the inclination distribution of JFC particles is broader than that of their source comets and leads to good fits to the broad latitudinal distribution of fluxes observed by IRAS. We find that 85%-95% of the observed mid-infrared emission is produced by particles from JFCs and 100 μm undergo a further collisional cascade with smaller fragments being progressively more affected by Poynting-Robertson (PR) drag. Upon reaching D -1 mean for D = 100-200 μm with ∼12 km s -1 being the most common case), many JFC grains should survive frictional heating and land on Earth's surface. This explains why most MMs collected in antarctic ice have primitive carbonaceous composition. The present mass of the inner zodiacal cloud at 19 g, mainly in D = 100-200 μm particles. The inner zodiacal cloud should have been >10 4 times brighter during the Late Heavy Bombardment

  10. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets (United States)

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane


    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  11. Disintegration phenomena in Comet West (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.


    Two peculiarities of Comet West, the multiple splitting of the nucleus as seen in telescope observations and the complex structure of the dust tail, are discussed. A method of analysis based on the premise that the observed rate of separation of a fragment from the principal nucleus is determined by the difference in effective solar attraction acting on the bodies is applied to investigate the motion of the four fragments that separated from the nucleus of Comet West. The predicted motion of the fragments is in good agreement with available observations. It is suggested that the 'synchronic' bands of the dust tail consist of tiny fragments from relatively large particles that burst after release from the comet. The unusual orientation of these bands and their high surface brightness relative to the diffuse tail are explained by a sudden increase in the particle acceleration and in the total scattering surface as the result of the disintegration of the larger particles.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B. [Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA GSFC, MS 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Coulson, Iain M. [Joint Astronomy Center, 660 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Sekanina, Zdenek [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Kracht, Rainer, E-mail: [Ostlandring 53, D-25335 Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)


    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 μ m dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31–0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 ( r {sub h} = 0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60″ (>10{sup 5} km) in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 μ m image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing ∼5.2 × 10{sup 10} kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  13. Comet-Narval acquisition notice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Bris, J.; Sellem, R.; Artiges, J.C.; Clavelin, J.F.; Du, S.; Grave, X.; Hubert, O.; Sauvage, J.; Roussiere, B.


    The COMET cards (encoding and time marking) serve to determine the energies and the time correlations of radiations detected during a multiparameter experiment while avoiding any extra specific module like coincidence circuits or delays) to set this time correlation. For each detected radiation, the arrival time information as well as the amplitude of the detected signal, are encoded. The results of these amplitude and time coding are associated to create an event. In this way, each detector is an independent source which provides a building block of the general information obtained by all the detectors. The COMET cards are associated with a NARVAL data acquisition system. This document is the instruction booklet of the COMET-NARVAL acquisition system

  14. Evolution of comets into asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; A'hearn, M.F.; Rickman, H.; Mcfadden, L.A.


    This paper presents observational evidence, together with recent theoretical developments, supporting the hypothesis that at least some asteroids might be extinct or dormant cometary nuclei. The observations include the discovery of a number of apparent asteroids in chaotic Jupiter-crossing orbits; the IRAS discovery of 1983 TB, an asteroid in the same orbit as the Geminid meteor shower; the apparent low activity levels determined for several short-period comet nuclei including Comet Halley; and observations of possible cometary activity in some earth-crossing asteroids. Theoretical developments include explorations of dynamical mechanisms capable of delivering main-belt asteroids into earth-crossing orbits, and an understanding of possible processes which may affect comets during their long residence in the Oort cloud and lead to the formation of nonvolatile crusts before and after they enter the planetary system. 143 refs

  15. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON (United States)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Coulson, Iain M.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Sekanina, Zdenek; Kracht, Rainer; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J.; Charnley, Steven B.


    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 microns dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31-0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 (rh?=?0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60? (greater than 10(exp 5) km in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 microns image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing approximately 5.2?×?10(exp 10) kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  16. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel; Carle, Glenn C.; Lasher, Larry E.


    Hummingbird is a highly focused scientific mission, proposed to NASA s Discovery Program, designed to address the highest priority questions in cometary science-that of the chemical composition of the cometary nucleus. After rendezvous with the comet, Hummingbird would first methodically image and map the comet, then collect and analyze dust, ice and gases from the cometary atmosphere to enrich characterization of the comet and support landing site selection. Then, like its namesake, Hummingbird would carefully descend to a pre-selected surface site obtaining a high-resolution image, gather a surface material sample, acquire surface temperature and then immediately return to orbit for detailed chemical and elemental analyses followed by a high resolution post-sampling image of the site. Hummingbird s analytical laboratory contains instrumentation for a comprehensive molecular and elemental analysis of the cometary nucleus as well as an innovative surface sample acquisition device.

  17. Iron and stony-iron meteorites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benedix, Gretchen K.; Haack, Henning; McCoy, T. J.


    Without iron and stony-iron meteorites, our chances of ever sampling the deep interior of a differentiated planetary object would be next to nil. Although we live on a planet with a very substantial core, we will never be able to sample it. Fortunately, asteroid collisions provide us with a rich...... sampling of the deep interiors of differentiated asteroids. Iron and stony-iron meteorites are fragments of a large number of asteroids that underwent significant geological processing in the early solar system. Parent bodies of iron and some stony-iron meteorites completed a geological evolution similar...... to that continuing on Earth – although on much smaller length- and timescales – with melting of the metal and silicates; differentiation into core, mantle, and crust; and probably extensive volcanism. Iron and stony-iron meteorites are our only available analogues to materials found in the deep interiors of Earth...

  18. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.


    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  19. Effects of meteorite impacts on the atmospheric evolution of Mars. (United States)

    Pham, Lê Binh San; Karatekin, Ozgür; Dehant, Véronique


    Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (approximately 3.7-4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account.

  20. SNC Meteorites, Organic Matter and a New Look at Viking (United States)

    Warmflash, David M.; Clemett, Simon J.; McKay, David S.


    Recently, evidence has begun to grow supporting the possibility that the Viking GC-MS would not have detected certain carboxylate salts that could have been present as metastable oxidation products of high molecular weight organic species. Additionally, despite the instrument's high sensitivity, the possibility had remained that very low levels of organic matter, below the instrument's detection limit, could have been present. In fact, a recent study indicates that the degradation products of several million microorganisms per gram of soil on Mars would not have been detected by the Viking GC-MS. Since the strength of the GC-MS findings was considered enough to dismiss the biology packet, particularly the LR results, any subsequent evidence suggesting that organic molecules may in fact be present on the Martian surface necessitates a re-evaluation of the Viking LR data. In addition to an advanced mass spectrometer to look for isotopic signatures of biogenic processes, future lander missions will include the ability to detect methane produced by methanogenic bacteria, as well as techniques based on biotechnology. Meanwhile, the identification of Mars samples already present on Earth in the form of the SNC meteorites has provided us with the ability to study samples of the Martian upper crust a decade or more in advance of any planned sample return missions. While contamination issues are of serious concern, the presence of indigenous organic matter in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been detected in the Martian meteorites ALH84001 and Nakhla, while there is circumstantial evidence for carbonaceous material in Chassigny. The radiochronological ages of these meteorites are 4.5 Ga, 1.3 Ga, and 165 Ma respectively representing a span of time in Earth history from the earliest single-celled organisms to the present day. Given this perspective on organic material, a biological interpretation to the Viking LR results can no longer be ruled out. In the LR

  1. Meteorite Unit Models for Structural Properties (United States)

    Agrawal, Parul; Carlozzi, Alexander A.; Karajeh, Zaid S.; Bryson, Kathryn L.


    To assess the threat posed by an asteroid entering Earth’s atmosphere, one must predict if, when, and how it fragments during entry. A comprehensive understanding of the asteroid material properties is needed to achieve this objective. At present, the meteorite material found on earth are the only objects from an entering asteroid that can be used as representative material and be tested inside a laboratory. Due to complex composition, it is challenging and expensive to obtain reliable material properties by means of laboratory test for a family of meteorites. In order to circumvent this challenge, meteorite unit models are developed to determine the effective material properties including Young’s modulus, compressive and tensile strengths and Poisson’s ratio, that in turn would help deduce the properties of asteroids. The meteorite unit model is a representative volume that accounts for diverse minerals, porosity, cracks and matrix composition.The Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s Ratio in the meteorite units are calculated by performing several hundreds of Monte Carlo simulations by randomly distributing the various phases inside these units. Once these values are obtained, cracks are introduced in these units. The size, orientation and distribution of cracks are derived by CT-scans and visual scans of various meteorites. Subsequently, simulations are performed to attain stress-strain relations, strength and effective modulus values in the presence of these cracks. The meteorite unit models are presented for H, L and LL ordinary chondrites, as well as for terrestrial basalt. In the case of the latter, data from the simulations is compared with experimental data to validate the methodology. These meteorite unit models will be subsequently used in fragmentation modeling of full scale asteroids.

  2. Tabulation of comet observations. (United States)


    Concerning comets: 1957 III Arend-Roland, 1957 V Mrkos, 1958 III Burnham, 1959 III Bester-Hoffmeister, 1959 VI Alcock, 1959 VIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1960 I P/Wild 1, 1960 II Burnham, 1960 III P/Schaumasse, 1960 VIII P/Finlay, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1961 VIII Seki, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 VIII Humason, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1963 V Pereyra, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 VIII Ikeya, 1964 IX Everhart, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XII Meier, 1980 XIII P/Tuttle, 1981 II Panther, 1982 I Bowell, 1982 IV P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1982 VII P/d'Arrest, 1986 III P/Halley, 1987 IV Shoemaker, 1987 XII P/Hartley 3, 1987 XIX P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1987 XXXVI P/Parker-Hartley, 1987 XXXVII P/Helin- Roman-Alu 1, 1988 III Shoemaker-Holt, 1988 V Liller, 1988 VIII P/Ge-Wang, 1988 XI P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXI Shoemaker, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 III Shoemaker, 1989 V Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989 VIII P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XI P/Gunn, 1989 XIII P/Lovas 1, 1989 XVIII McKenzie-Russell, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XX P/Clark, 1989 XXI Helin-Ronan-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1989h P/Van Biesbroeck, 1989t P/Wild 2, 1989u P/Kearns-Kwee, 1989c1 Austin, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990e P/Wolf-Harrington, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990g McNaught-Hughes, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990n P/Taylor, 1990ο P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1991a P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991b Arai, 1991c P/Swift-Gehrels, 1991d Shoemaker-Levy, 1991e P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 1991h P/Takamizawa, 1991j P/Hartley 1, 1991k P/Mrkos, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991n P/Faye, 1991q P/Levy, 1991t P/Hartley 2, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  3. Thermoluminescence of meteorites and their orbits (United States)

    Melcher, C. L.


    The thermoluminescence levels of 45 ordinary chondrites are measured in order to provide information on the orbital characteristics of the meteorites before impact. Glow curves of the photon emission response of powdered samples of the meteorites to temperatures up to 550 C in the natural state and following irradiation by a laboratory test dose of 110,000 rad were obtained as functions of terrestrial age and compared to those of samples of the Pribram, Lost City and Innisfree meteorites, for which accurate orbital data is available. The thermoluminescence levels in 40 out of 42 meteorites are found to be similar to those of the three control samples, indicating that the vast majority of ordinary chondrites that survive atmospheric entry have perihelia in the range 0.8-1 AU. Of the remaining two, Farmville is observed to exhibit an unusually large gradient in thermoluminescence levels with sample depth, which may be a result of a temperature gradient arising in a slowly rotating meteorite. Finally, the thermoluminescence measured in the Malakal meteorite is found to be two orders of magnitude lower than control samples, which is best explained by thermal draining by solar heating in an orbit with a perihelion distance of 0.5 to 0.6 AU.

  4. Thermoluminescence of meteorites and their orbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melcher, C.L.


    The thermolunimescence (TL) levels of 45 ordinary chondrites were measured to obtain information about the meteorite orbits. The low-temperature TL reaches equilibrium while the meteorite is in space and reflects the temperature of the meteorite at perihelion. Samples of Pribram, Lost City, and Innisfree, whose orbits are accurately known, were used as control samples. The TL levels in 40 out of 42 meteorites are similar to the three control samples, indicating that the vast majority of ordinary chondrites that survive atmospheric entry have perihelia similar to three known orbits, i.e., in the range 0.8-1 AU. The effects of albedo and rotation are also considered. A simple model indicates that temperature gradients of 1-2 0 K/cm are possible in slowly rotating meteoroids and such a temperature gradient is consistent with the unusually large TL gradient measured in the Farmville meteorite. Since slow rotation rates are improbable, other possibilities are examined but no satisfactory explanation has been found. The TL level measured in the Malakal meteorite is two orders of magnitude lower than control samples and is best explained by thermal draining due to solar heating in an orbit with a small perihelion distance. The perihelion is estimated to be approx. 0.5-0.6 AU. (orig.)

  5. SNC meteorites: Clues to martian petrologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.


    The shergottites, nakhlites, and Chassigny (SNC meteorites) are apparently cumulate mafic and ultramafic rocks that crystallized at shallow levels in the crust of their parent body. The mineralogy and chemistry of these meteorites are remarkably like equivalent terrestrial rocks, although their ratios of Fe/(Fe+Mg) and certain incompatible elements and their oxygen isotopic compositions are distinctive. All have crystallization ages of 1.3 b.y. or younger and formed from magmas produced by partial melting of previously fractionated source regions. Isotope systematics suggest that the SNC parent body had a complex and protracted thermal history spanning most of geologic time. Some meteorites have been severely shock metamorphosed, and all were ejected from their parent body at relatively recent times, possibly in several impact events. Late crystallization ages, complex petrogenesis, and possible evidence for a large gravitational field suggest that these meteorites are derived from a large planet. Trapped gases in shergottite shock melts have compositions similar to the composition measured in the Martian atmosphere. Ejection of Martian meteorites may have been accomplished by acceleration of near-surface spalls or other mechanisms not fully understood. If SNC meteorites are of Martian origin, they provide important information on planetary composition and evolution. The bulk composition and redox state of the Martian mantle, as constrained by shergottite phase equilibria, must be more earthlike than most current models. Planetary thermal models should benefit from data on the abundances of radioactive heat sources, the melting behavior of the mantle, and the timing of planetary differentiation

  6. Pressure hydrogenation of solid carbonaceous material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pier, M; Kroenig, W


    A process is described for the continuous pressure hydrogenation of solid, nonfusible carbonaceous material, such as coal, oil shale, or peat, in a pasted condition, characterized in that the charge is heated in a known way under pressure, together with water, nearly to the reaction temperature, then it is led into a pressure vessel, whose volume amounts to 20 to 40% of the usual reaction space without any change at the same temperature, and the charge then goes through the reaction vessel, after which its temperature is raised to the reaction height.

  7. Destructive hydrogenation of carbonaceous material, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    A process is described for the destructive hydrogenation of solid distillable carbonaceous material, consisting of mixing the raw material in a paste by means of a mixture practically free from asphalt, from an oil obtained initially from the products coming out of the reaction space as vapor, particularly heavy oil, and oils obtained by pushing just to the state of pitch or coke the distillation of all the products which come out of the reaction space in any state but the vapor and which restrain some of the raw material intact and part of the products.

  8. Comet Mineralogy as Inferred from Infrared Spectra of Comets (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.


    For most comets, infrared (IR) spectroscopy (remote sensing) is the method through which we diagnose the mineralogy and size distribution of dust in their comae. The shape and contrast of the IR spectral features depend on the particle size: optically active minerals (absorbing of visible and near-IR solar photons) and submicron solid grains or highly porous (> 90% vacuum) grains primarily contribute to the shapes of the observed resonances. Comet mineralogies typically are determined by fitting thermal emission models of ensembles of discrete mineral grains to observed IR spectral energy distributions. The absorptivities (Q-abs) and scattering efficiencies (Q-scat) of the discrete mineral grains are computed using Mie scattering, Maxwell-Garnet mixing, Discrete Dipole Approximation, and Multi-Layered Sphere codes. These techniques when applied to crystalline minerals, specifically olivine (Mg_x, Fe_1-x)2 Si04, x>0.9, require the use of ellipsoidal shaped particles with elongated axial ratios or hollow spheres to produce the shapes of the resonances observed both from comet comae and laboratory samples. The wavelength positions of the distinct resonances from submicron-radii crystalline silicates, as well as their thermal equilibrium temperatures, constrain the crystalline olivine to have a relatively high Mg-content (x>0.9, or Fo>90). Only resonances computed for submicron Mg-rich crystalline olivine and crystalline orthopyroxene match the observed IR spectral features. However, this has led to the interpretation that micron-radii and larger crystals are absent from comet comae. Furthermore, the mass fraction of silicate crystals is dependent upon whether just the submicron portion of the size distribution is being compared or the submicron crystals compare to the aggregates of porous amorphous silicates that are computationally tractable as porous spheres. We will discuss the Deep Impact results as examples of these challenges to interpreting mid-IR spectra of

  9. A Search for Amino Acids and Nucleobases in the Martian Meteorite Roberts Massif 04262 Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (United States)

    Callahan, Michael P.; Burton, Aaron S.; Elsila, Jamie E.; Baker, Eleni M.; Smith, Karen E.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.


    The investigation into whether Mars contains signatures of past or present life is of great interest to science and society. Amino acids and nucleobases are compounds that are essential for all known life on Earth and are excellent target molecules in the search for potential Martian biomarkers or prebiotic chemistry. Martian meteorites represent the only samples from Mars that can be studied directly in the laboratory on Earth. Here, we analyzed the amino acid and nucleobase content of the shergottite Roberts Massif (RBT) 04262 using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We did not detect any nucleobases above our detection limit in formic acid extracts; however, we did measure a suite of protein and nonprotein amino acids in hot-water extracts with high relative abundances of beta-alanine and gamma-amino-eta-butyric acid. The presence of only low (to absent) levels of several proteinogenic amino acids and a lack of nucleobases suggest that this meteorite fragment is fairly uncontaminated with respect to these common biological compounds. The distribution of straight-chained amine-terminal eta-omega-amino acids in RBT 04262 resembled those previously measured in thermally altered carbonaceous meteorites. A carbon isotope ratio of -24(0/00) +/- 6(0/00) for beta-alanine in RBT 04262 is in the range of reduced organic carbon previously measured in Martian meteorites (Steele et al. 2012). The presence of eta-omega-amino acids may be due to a high temperature Fischer-Tropschtype synthesis during igneous processing on Mars or impact ejection of the meteorites from Mars, but more experimental data are needed to support these hypotheses.

  10. The Role of Fe,Ni Metal and Fe,Ni Sulfide Nanoparticles in Catalytic Organic Synthesis in the Early Solar System: Evidence From Carbonaceous Chondrites. (United States)

    Brearley, A. J.


    Numerous studies have shown that carbonaceous chondrites contain a wide variety of both soluble and insoluble organic compounds. These compounds formed in a variety of different astrophysical environments including the interstellar medium, the solar nebula and on asteroidal parent bodies. The solid or insoluble organic material (IOM) in carbonaceous chondrites is likely the complex end product of synthesis and processing in all of these environments. Although the bulk chemistry and structure of IOM in carbonaceous chondrites is well understood, important questions remain as to the exact spatial occurrence and distribution of organic material within carbonaceous chondrites. Such information may provide important insights into the possible mechanisms of formation of organic material at the grain scale. We have examined the matrices of three CM carbonaceous chondrites, Y791198, Murchison and ALH81002 using a range of different TEM techniques. Mineralogically, the matrices of these meteorites consist of phyllosilicates and/or amorphous materials associated with sulfides, oxides and carbides. Using energy filtered TEM several distinct occurrences of organic material have been identified, notably associations with nanoparticles of sulfide and carbide. Sulfides have grain sizes that are commonly <100 nm with thin layers of poorly graphitized C (<1 nm) on their surfaces. This carbonaceous layer often contains nitrogen suggesting that it is organic in character. In addition, nanoparticles of Fe,Ni carbides that occur either singly or in clusters are often embedded in carbonaceous material that is also N-bearing. These carbides have experienced partial oxidation to magnetite around their rims. The ubiquitous spatial association between sulfide and carbide nanoparticles and carbonaceous material indicates a genetic relation between these phases. This association can be most readily explained by Fischer-Tropsch-type (FTT) catalysis reactions involving catalytic hydrogenation

  11. Comet C/2001 J1

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Helin, E.; Lawrence, K.; Kotková, Lenka; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.

    č. 7623 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  12. The COMET Sleep Research Platform. (United States)

    Nichols, Deborah A; DeSalvo, Steven; Miller, Richard A; Jónsson, Darrell; Griffin, Kara S; Hyde, Pamela R; Walsh, James K; Kushida, Clete A


    The Comparative Outcomes Management with Electronic Data Technology (COMET) platform is extensible and designed for facilitating multicenter electronic clinical research. Our research goals were the following: (1) to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial (CET) for two obstructive sleep apnea treatments-positive airway pressure versus oral appliance therapy; and (2) to establish a new electronic network infrastructure that would support this study and other clinical research studies. The COMET platform was created to satisfy the needs of CET with a focus on creating a platform that provides comprehensive toolsets, multisite collaboration, and end-to-end data management. The platform also provides medical researchers the ability to visualize and interpret data using business intelligence (BI) tools. COMET is a research platform that is scalable and extensible, and which, in a future version, can accommodate big data sets and enable efficient and effective research across multiple studies and medical specialties. The COMET platform components were designed for an eventual move to a cloud computing infrastructure that enhances sustainability, overall cost effectiveness, and return on investment.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fulle, M.; Molaro, P. [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico, Via Tiepolo 11, I-34143 Trieste (Italy); Buzzi, L.; Valisa, P., E-mail: [Societa Astronomica Schiaparelli, Via Beato Angelico 1, Varese (Italy)


    On 2013 March 21, high-resolution slit spectrographs of the comet C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs), at a heliocentric distance r = 0.46 AU, were obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico Campo dei Fiori, Italy. Emission lines of sodium were the strongest in the spectrum as is common in comets, but potassium lines were also detected. These have rarely been observed in comets since the apparition of the brightest comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki). Lithium was not detected and stringent upper limits of its abundance compared to other alkali were derived. We obtain the abundance ratios Na/K = 54 {+-} 14 and Na/Li {>=}810{sup 3}. In addition to Mercury's exosphere (Leblanc and Doressoundiram), we show that photoionization at the beginning of the alkali tails may increase the solar ratio Na/K = 15.5 (Asplund et al.) by a factor three, close to that required to match the observed value. In the same tail position, the Na/Li ratio increases only by a factor two, very far from the factor {>=}8 required to match an original meteoritic ratio. We apply the same model to similar alkali data (Preston) of the comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki) and obtain consistent results. An original solar Na/K ratio fits the observed value at the beginning of the alkali tails within the slit size, whereas Li is depleted by a factor {>=}8.

  14. Contemporary Inuit Traditional Beliefs Concerning Meteorites (United States)

    Mardon, A. A.; Mardon, E. G.; Williams, J. S.


    Inuit religious mythology and the importance of meteorites as "messages" from the Creator of all things is only now being recognized. Field investigations near Resolute, Cornwallis Island in the high Canadian Arctic in 1988 are the bases for this paper. Through interpreters, several elders of the local Inuit described in detail the Inuit belief, recognition, and wonder at the falling meteors & meteorites during the long Polar Night and Polar Day. Such events are passed on in the oral tradition from generation to generation by the elders and especially those elders who fulfill the shamanistic roles. The Inuit have come across rocks that they immediately recognize as not being "natural" and in the cases of a fall that was observed and the rock recovered the meteorite is kept either on the person or in some hidden niche known only to that person. In one story recounted a meteorite fell and was recovered at the birth of one very old elder and the belief was that if the rock was somehow damaged or taken from his possession he would die. Some indirect indication also was conveyed that the discovery and possession of meteorites allow shaman to have "supernatural" power. This belief in the supernatural power of meteorites can be seen historically in many societies, including Islam and the "black rock" (Kaaba) of Mecca. It should also be noted, however, that metallic meteorites were clearly once the major source of iron for Eskimo society as is indicated from the recovery of meteoritical iron arrow heads and harpoon heads from excavated pre-Viking contact sites. The one evident thing that became clear to the author is that the Inuit distinctly believe that these meteorites are religious objects of the highest order and it brings into question the current academic practice of sending meteorites south to research institutes. Any seeming conflict with the traditional use of meteoric iron is more apparent than real--the animals, the hunt, and the act of survival--all being

  15. Modeling Formaldehyde Emission in Comets (United States)

    Disanti, M. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Bonev, B. P.; Mumma, M. J.; Villanueva, G. L.

    Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of these show clear emission from H2CO. We also detected H2CO with NIRSPEC in one Jupiter Family comet, 9P/Tempel 1, during Deep Impact observations. Our H2CO model, originally developed to interpret low-resolution spectra of comets Halley and Wilson (Reuter et al. 1989 Ap J 341:1045), predicts individual line intensities (g-factors) as a function of rotational temperature for approximately 1300 lines having energies up to approximately 400 cm^-1 above the ground state. Recently, it was validated through comparison with CSHELL spectra of C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), where newly developed analyses were applied to obtain robust determinations of both the rotational temperature and abundance of H2CO (DiSanti et al. 2006 Ap J 650:470). We are currently in the process of extending the model to higher rotational energy (i.e., higher rotational quantum number) in an attempt to improve the fit to high-J lines in our spectra of C/T7 and other comets. Results will be presented, and implications discussed.Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of

  16. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekanina, Z.


    The dynamics and physical characteristics of Comet P/Machholz are analyzed. The discovery of the comet (Machholz, 1986) is discussed, including the observational conditions and the theory that the comet is inactive over extensive periods of time. Consideration is given to observations of the two tails of Comet P/Machholz (Emerson, 1986), the brightness variations and light curve of the comet, and nuclear photometry of the comet (Green, 1987). It is suggested that the increase in activity beginning one day after perihelion was triggered by a discrete source within 15 deg of the rotation pole that became sunlit after perihelion. Also, the possibility that Comet P/Machholz is associated with a meteor stream is examined. 45 refs

  17. Separation of volatile products from solid carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, W W


    A process is set forth for the separation of volatile products from solid carbonaceous materials, in which the vapors produced from the carbonaceous material at higher temperatures and withdrawn into the separate vapor chamber are led in succession through the lower temperature vapors as continuously to deposit their condensible ingredients in the chamber by the action of the successive cooler vapors.

  18. Radiocarbon: nature's tracer for carbonaceous pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Currie, L.A.; Klouda, G.A.; Gerlach, R.W.


    Recent developments in radiocarbon dating techniques have made it feasible to determine 14 C/ 12 C ratios in samples containing milligram or even microgram quantities of carbon. As a result, it has become practicable to apply these techniques to the study of trace gases and particles in the atmosphere, as a means of resolving anthropogenic from natural source components. Interpretation of 14 C data is straightforward: biospheric carbon (such as vegetation) is alive with a 14 C/ 12 C ratio of about 1.5 x 10 -12 , whereas fossil carbon is dead. Beyond this dichotomous classification it becomes very interesting to combine the isotopic data with concurrent chemical data, as well as spatial and temporal distributions, in order to infer the strengths of specific sources of carbonaceous pollutants. A brief review will be presented of our program on atmospheric gases and carbonaceous particles. For the latter, we have assayed individual chemical and size fractions, and samples collected in urban, rural, and remote locales. The biogenic carbon fraction - presumably from wood-burning - ranged from 10% to 100% for the urban samples analyzed

  19. Titanium isotopic anomalies in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niemeyer, S.; Lugmair, G.W.


    High-precision analyses of Ti are reported for samples from a variety of meteorite classes. The expanded data base for Allende inclusions still shows Ti isotope anomalies in every inclusion. All the coarse-grained inclusions give quite similar patterns, but fine-grained inclusions show more variable, and sometimes larger, anomalies. One inclusion, 3675A, was analyzed because others identified it as a possible 'FUN' inclusion due to its mass-fractionated Mg. This designation is supported by the significantly more complex Ti isotopic pattern for 3675A compared to all our other Allende inclusions. Available data fail to suggest that any particular Allende mineral phase, including a chromite-carbon fraction from an acid residue, is especially rich in anomalous Ti. We also find anomalous Ti in a bulk sample of a C1 chondrite and in matrix separates from C2 chondrites. The excesses of 50 Ti are smaller than for Allende inclusions, and subtle differences in Ti isotopic patterns tentatively suggest that parent materials for C1-C2 matrix and Allende inclusions are not directly related. Analyses of chondrules from unequilibrated ordinary chondrites did not yield clear evidence for anomalous Ti, but some 'larger than usual' deficits at 50/46 give encouragement for future work in this direction. (author)

  20. Global cloud condensation nuclei influenced by carbonaceous combustion aerosol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Spracklen


    Full Text Available Black carbon in carbonaceous combustion aerosol warms the climate by absorbing solar radiation, meaning reductions in black carbon emissions are often perceived as an attractive global warming mitigation option. However, carbonaceous combustion aerosol can also act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN so they also cool the climate by increasing cloud albedo. The net radiative effect of carbonaceous combustion aerosol is uncertain because their contribution to CCN has not been evaluated on the global scale. By combining extensive observations of CCN concentrations with the GLOMAP global aerosol model, we find that the model is biased low (normalised mean bias = −77 % unless carbonaceous combustion aerosol act as CCN. We show that carbonaceous combustion aerosol accounts for more than half (52–64 % of global CCN with the range due to uncertainty in the emitted size distribution of carbonaceous combustion particles. The model predicts that wildfire and pollution (fossil fuel and biofuel carbonaceous combustion aerosol causes a global mean cloud albedo aerosol indirect effect of −0.34 W m−2, with stronger cooling if we assume smaller particle emission size. We calculate that carbonaceous combustion aerosol from pollution sources cause a global mean aerosol indirect effect of −0.23 W m−2. The small size of carbonaceous combustion particles from fossil fuel sources means that whilst pollution sources account for only one-third of the emitted mass they cause two-thirds of the cloud albedo aerosol indirect effect that is due to carbonaceous combustion aerosol. This cooling effect must be accounted for, along with other cloud effects not studied here, to ensure that black carbon emissions controls that reduce the high number concentrations of fossil fuel particles have the desired net effect on climate.

  1. Enrichment of deuterium in insoluble organic matter from primitive meteorites: A solar system origin? (United States)

    Remusat, Laurent; Palhol, Fabien; Robert, François; Derenne, Sylvie; France-Lanord, Christian


    Because of a systematic enrichment in deuterium, the insoluble organic matter (IOM) of the carbonaceous chondrites is considered to have formed in the interstellar medium. However, the D / H ratios in IOM remain much lower than those measured in the organic molecules commonly observed in the dense interstellar medium. In this study, the D / H ratio of different aromatic and aliphatic molecular fragments of IOM from the Orgueil meteorite was measured by GC-irMS (gas chromatography-isotopic ratio mass spectrometry). No correlation was observed between the D / H ratios and structural parameters characterizing the IOM, such as the H / C ratio. However, the δD of the benzylic, aliphatic and aromatic hydrogen into the IOM can be determined to be 1250‰, + 550‰ and + 150‰, respectively, relative to SMOW. This indicates that D-enrichment in IOM is correlated with the C-H bond dissociation energy. Such a correlation rules out IOM formation from observed interstellar molecules and suggests instead that the different components of IOM have acquired their D / H ratios by an exchange with a deuterium-rich reservoir after its synthesis. The same process can be invoked to account for the D / H composition of meteoritic water. Findings point to a common process for deuterium enrichment in the solar system.

  2. Diversity in C-Xanes Spectra Obtained from Carbonaceous Solid Inclusions from Monahans Halite (United States)

    Kebukawa, Y.; Zolensky, M. E.; Fries, M.; Kilcoyne, A. L. D.; Rahman, Z.; Cody, G. D.


    Monahans meteorite (H5) contains fluid inclusion- bearing halite (NaCl) crystals [1]. Microthermometry and Raman spectroscopy showed that the fluid in the inclusions is an aqueous brine and they were trapped near 25degC [1]. Their continued presence in the halite grains requires that their incorporation into the H chondrite asteroid was post metamorphism [2]. Abundant solid inclusions are also present in the halites. The solid inclusions include abundant and widely variable organics [2]. Analyses by Raman microprobe, SEM/EDX, synchrotron X-ray diffraction and TEM reveal that these grains include macromolecular carbon similar in structure to CV3 chondrite matrix carbon, aliphatic carbon compounds, olivine (Fo99-59), high- and low-Ca pyroxene, feldspars, magnetite, sulfides, lepidocrocite, carbonates, diamond, apatite and possibly the zeolite phillipsite [3]. Here we report organic analyses of these carbonaceous residues in Monahans halite using C-, N-, and O- X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES). Samples and Methods: Approximately 100 nm-thick sections were extracted with a focused ion beam (FIB) at JSC from solid inclusions from Monahans halite. The sections were analyzed using the scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM) on beamline at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for XANES spectroscopy. Results and Discussion: C-XANES spectra of the solid inclusions show micrometer-scale heterogeneity, indicating that the macromolecular carbon in the inclusions have complex chemical variations. C-XANES features include 284.7 eV assigned to aromatic C=C, 288.4-288.8 eV assigned to carboxyl, and 290.6 eV assigned to carbonate. The carbonyl features obtained by CXANES might have been caused by the FIB used in sample preparation. No specific N-XANES features are observed. The CXANES spectra obtained from several areas in the FIB sections include type 1&2 chondritic IOM like, type 3 chondritic IOM like, and none of the above

  3. Laboratory Studies of the Formation of Carbonaceous Cosmic Dust from PAH Precursors (United States)

    Salama, Farid; Contreras, C. S.


    The study of the formation and destruction processes of cosmic dust is essential to understand and to quantify the budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Although dust with all its components plays an important role in the evolution of interstellar chemistry and in the formation of organic molecules, little is known on the formation and destruction processes of carbonaceous dust. PAHs are important chemical building blocks of interstellar dust. They are detected in interplanetary dust particles and in meteoritic samples and are an important, ubiquitous component of the interstellar medium. The formation of PAHs from smaller molecules has not been extensively studied. Therefore, it is imperative that laboratory experiments be conducted to study the dynamic processes of carbon grain formation from PAH precursors. Studies of interstellar dust analogs formed from a variety of PAH and hydrocarbon precursors as well as species that include O, N, and S, have recently been performed using the COSmIC facility in our laboratory under conditions that simulate interstellar and circumstellar environments. The species formed in the pulsed discharge nozzle (PDN) plasma source are detected and characterized with high-sensitivity cavity ringdown spectroscopy coupled to a Reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ReTOF-MS), thus providing both spectroscopic and ion mass information in-situ. We report the measurements obtained in these experiments. Studies with hydrocarbon precursors show the feasibility of specific molecules to form PAHs, while studies with carbon ring systems (benzene and derivatives, PAHs) precursors provide information on pathways toward larger carbonaceous molecules. From these unique measurements, we derive information on the size and the structure of interstellar dust grain particles, the growth and the destruction processes of interstellar dust and the resulting budget of extraterrestrial organic molecules. Acknowledgements: This research is

  4. High resolution TEM of chondritic carbonaceous matter: Metamorphic evolution and heterogeneity (United States)

    Le Guillou, Corentin; Rouzaud, Jean-Noël.; Bonal, Lydie; Quirico, Eric; Derenne, Sylvie; Remusat, Laurent


    The insoluble carbonaceous matter from 12 chondrites (CI, CM, CO, CV, EH, and UOC), was characterized by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Besides ubiquitous nanoglobules, the insoluble organic matter from petrologic type 1 and 2 chondrites and Semarkona (LL 3.0) is composed of a highly disordered polyaromatic component. No structural differences were observed between these IOMs, in agreement with the limited thermal metamorphism they all experienced. In chondrites of petrologic type >3.0, the evolution of the IOM is controlled by the extent of thermal metamorphism. The polyaromatic layers, shorter than 1 nm in petrologic type ≤3.0 chondrites, grow up to sizes between 5 and 10 nm in petrologic type >3.6 chondrites, contributing to the increase of the degree of structural order. In addition, we find rare, but ubiquitous onion-like carbons, which may be the product of nanodiamond graphitization. The insoluble carbonaceous matter of the enstatite chondrite Sahara 97096 (EH 3) is different from the other meteorites studied here. It is more heterogeneous and displays a high abundance of graphitized particles. This may be the result of a mixture between (1) the disordered carbon located in the matrix, and (2) catalytic graphitized phases associated with metal, potentially originating from partial melting events. The structural and nanostructural evolution are similar in all IOMs. This suggests that the structure of the accreted precursors and the parent body conditions of their secondary thermal modifications (temperature, duration, and pressure) were similar. The limited degree of organization of the most metamorphosed IOMs compared with terrestrial rocks submitted to similar temperature suggests that the conditions are not favorable to graphitization processes, due to the chemical nature of the precursor or the lack of confinement pressure.

  5. Mineralogy and Textural Characteristics of Fine-grained Rims in the Yamato 791198 CM2 Carbonaceous Chondrite: Constraints on the Location of Aqueous Alteration (United States)

    Chizmadia, Lysa J.; Brearley, Adrian J.


    Carbonaceous chondrites provide important clues into the nature of physical and chemical processes in the early solar system. A question of key importance concerns the role of water in solar nebular and asteroidal processes. The effects of water on primary mineral assemblages have been widely recognized in chondritic meteorites, especially the CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites. These meteorites have undergone extensive aqueous alteration that occurred prior to their arrival on Earth. In the case of the CM chondrites, this alteration has resulted in the partial to complete replacement of the primary nebular phases with secondary alteration phases. Considerable controversy exists as to the exact location where the alteration of the CM chondrites occurred. Several textural lines of evidence have been cited in support of aqueous alteration prior to the accretion of the final parent asteroid. An important line of evidence to support this hypothesis is the dis-equilibrium nature of fine-grained rims and matrix materials. [2] also noted the juxtaposition of micron-sized Fe-Ni metal grains and apparently unaltered chondrule glass against hydrated rim silicates. Conversely, there is a large body of evidence in favor of parent body alteration such as the occurrence of undisturbed Fe-rich aureoles and the systematic redistribution of elemental components over millimeters, e.g., Mg(+2) into the matrix and Fe(+2) into chondrules etc.

  6. Cloud albedo increase from carbonaceous aerosol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. R. Leaitch


    Full Text Available Airborne measurements from two consecutive days, analysed with the aid of an aerosol-adiabatic cloud parcel model, are used to study the effect of carbonaceous aerosol particles on the reflectivity of sunlight by water clouds. The measurements, including aerosol chemistry, aerosol microphysics, cloud microphysics, cloud gust velocities and cloud light extinction, were made below, in and above stratocumulus over the northwest Atlantic Ocean. On the first day, the history of the below-cloud fine particle aerosol was marine and the fine particle sulphate and organic carbon mass concentrations measured at cloud base were 2.4 μg m−3 and 0.9 μg m−3 respectively. On the second day, the below-cloud aerosol was continentally influenced and the fine particle sulphate and organic carbon mass concentrations were 2.3 μg m−3 and 2.6 μg m−3 respectively. Over the range 0.06–0.8 μm diameter, the shapes of the below-cloud size distributions were similar on both days and the number concentrations were approximately a factor of two higher on the second day. The cloud droplet number concentrations (CDNC on the second day were approximately three times higher than the CDNC measured on the first day. Using the parcel model to separate the influence of the differences in gust velocities, we estimate from the vertically integrated cloud light scattering measurements a 6% increase in the cloud albedo principally due to the increase in the carbonaceous components on the second day. Assuming no additional absorption by this aerosol, a 6% albedo increase translates to a local daytime radiative cooling of ∼12 W m−2. This result provides observational evidence that the role of anthropogenic carbonaceous components in the cloud albedo effect can be much larger than that of anthropogenic sulphate, as some global simulations have indicated.

  7. Genealogy of Iron and Pallasite Meteorites as Revealed by Cr Isotopes (United States)

    Sanborn, M.; Yin, Q. Z.; Ziegler, K. G.


    The parent bodies and/or chemical reservoirs from which iron and stony-iron meteorites originated are not very well understood. It is unclear if particular groups of iron or stony-iron meteorites originated from melting of already known chondritic parent bodies or are representating new chemical reservoirs. Potential connections between iron meteorites and pallasites and known parent bodies have been suggested based on oxygen isotopes. Proposed genetic relationships include the IVA irons with ordinary chondrites1 and the anomalous pallasite Eagle Station with the CV chondrites2. Here, we use the power of Cr isotopes to further resolve potential connections between IVA irons and pallasites and specific parent bodies. Our new measurements of Cr isotopic composition of silicate inclusions from two IVA irons, Steinbach and São João Nepomuceno, are shown to be indistinguishable from that of the ordinary chondrites. Coupling Cr with oxygen indicates the IVA irons likely originated from the same source as LL chondrites. In contrast with Eagle Station, the new Cr isotope measurements combined with oxygen indicates the MGP Brenham and Krasnojarsk sampled a source material similar to that of the anomalous HEDs. As with Eagle Station, the Milton pallasite exhibits a carbonaceous chondrite (CC) Cr isotope composition, indicating that Eagle Station was not the lone case of a pallasite originating from a CC reservoir. By establishing these genetic relationships using Cr isotopes, it is now evident that the differentiation activity sampled by IVA irons and pallasites represents processes occurring on a diverse set of parent bodies in the early Solar System. [1] Ruzicka and Hutson (2006) MAPS, 41, 1959. [2] Shukolyukov and Lugmair (2006) EPSL, 250, 200.

  8. Meteorites and the Evolution of Our Solar System (United States)

    Nava, David F.


    The study of meteorites has long been of intense interest ever since these objects were discovered to be of extraterrestrial origin. Meteorite research contributes to unraveling the mysteries in understanding the formation and evolution processes of our solar system. Meteorites, of which there are a variety of widely diverse types of chemical and mineralogical compositions, are the most ancient of solar system objects that can be studied in the laboratory. They preserve a unique historical record of the astronomical and astrophysical events of our solar system. This record is being discerned by a host of ever evolving analytical laboratory methods. Recent discoveries of what are believed to be Martian meteorites, lunar meteorites, a meteorite containing indigenous water, and the recovery from the Cretaceous layer of a small meteorite fragment thought to be from the dinosaur-killing asteroid have fueled additional excitement for studying meteorites.

  9. Comet Halley and its historic passages during the past millennium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legrand, J.P.


    The March 12, 1759 return of Comet Halley verified Halley's hypothesis on the existence of periodic comets and supported Newton's principle of universal attraction. Comet Halley's appearances before the 16th century are traced and it is noted that the length of the comet's tail has varied greatly. The comet's rendezvous with ESA's satellite Giotto is discussed briefly

  10. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp (United States)


    The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory ISO inspected Comet Hall-Bopp during the spring and autumn of 1996. The need to keep ISO's telescope extremely cold restricts the spacecraft's pointing in relation to the Sun and the Earth and it ruled out observations at other times. The analyses of the 1996 observations are not yet complete, but already they give new insight into the nature of comets. Comet Hale-Bopp is believed to be a large comet with a nucleus up to 40 kilometres wide. It was discovered in July 1995 by two American astronomers working independently, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. At that time, the comet was a billion kilometres away from the Sun, but 200 times brighter than Halley's Comet was, when at a comparable distance. Comet Hale-Bopp will make its closest approach to the Earth on 22 March, and its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on 1 April 1997. Some scientific results from ISO The discovery of Comet Hale-Bopp occurred before ISO's launch in November 1995. When first observed by ISO in March and April 1996, the comet was still 700 million kilometres from the Sun, and almost as far from the Earth and ISO. With its privileged view of infrared wavebands inaccessible from the Earth's surface, ISO's photometer ISOPHOT discovered that carbon dioxide was an important constituent of the comet's emissions of vapour.ISOPHOT measured the temperature of the dust cloud around Comet Hale-Bopp. In March 1996, when the comet was still more than 700 million kilometres from the Sun, the dust cloud was at minus 120 degrees C. When ISOPHOT made similar observations in October 1996, the comet was 420 million kilometres from the Sun, and the dust cloud had warmed to about minus 50 degrees C. Intensive observations of Comet Hale-Bopp were also made by ISO's Short-Wave Spectrometer SWS, the Long-Wave Spectrometer LWS, and the ISOPHOT spectrometer PHOT-S. Results are due for publication at the end of March. They will give details about the composition

  11. Reactions on carbonaceous materials with hydrogenating gases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pier, M; Simon, W; Kronig, W


    A process is given for the production of valuable hydrocarbons by treatment of distillable carbonaceous materials with added hydrogenating gases under pressure in contact with catalysts. The process comprises adding to the initial materials before or during the said treatment organic sulphonic acids together with metals of groups 4 to 8 of the periodic system or compounds thereof, or free organic carboxylic acids which when inorganic salts are simultaneously present do not combine therewith to form complex ansolvo acids, or acid salts of strong acids or acid salts of heavy metals, lithium, magnesium, and aluminum, with the exception of aluminum hydrosilicates, or inorganic oxygen containing acids of sulfur or nitrogen or the anhydrides of said inorganic oxygen-containing acids.

  12. Extracting solid carbonaceous materials with solvents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    Solvent extraction of solid carbonaceous materials is performed in the presence of powdered catalysts together with alkaline substances. Oxides of nickel or iron or nickel nitrate have been used together with caustic soda or potash solutions or milk of lime. Solvents used include benzenes, middle oils, tars, tetrahydronaphthalene. The extraction is performed at 200 to 500/sup 0/C under pressures of 20 to 200 atm. Finely ground peat was dried and mixed with milk of lime and nickel nitrate and an equal quantity of middle oil. The mixture was heated for 3 h at 380/sup 0/C at 90 atm. 88.5% of the peat was extracted. In a similar treatment brown coal was impregnated with solutions of caustic soda and ferric chloride.

  13. Carbonaceous matter in the Pomozhan deposit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piatek, G


    Carbonaceous matter (CM), encountered in the Pomozhan deposit, is coordinate to dolomitic-illitic clay, filling caverns in ore-bearing dolomites. The CM represents a disperse mass with particle sizes up to 2 mm, having a color from dark brown to black. The reflectivity (0.35-0.42%) and classification assignment of the CM to macerals of the vitrinite or dopplerinite group were determined by micropetrographic methods. CM belonging to the type of humic coals, transitional from brown to bituminous coals is an epigenetic formation. Its accumulation in the regions of the Ol'kush ore deposits occurred in the Triassic-Cretaceous or Cenozoic interval. Liassic coal of the Zavertse region or Helvetian coal of Khomentuv and Tarnobzheg could be the source of the CM.

  14. Destructive hydrogenation of carbonaceous materials, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    A process is described for the destructive hydrogenation continuously of solid and infusible carbonaceous substances, consisting of heating the charge to the same temperature as the added hydrogen, under a pressure essentially equal to that of the reaction, from the first to at least 300/sup 0/C, but not more than 440/sup 0/C, while passing the heated charge through a zone the contents of which are equal to about 20 per cent to 40 per cent of that of the reaction space, maintaining the charge for a certain time at the temperature without sensible change in the pressure, then reheating the charge to at least the temperature to prime the reaction and finally to introduce the charge into the reaction space.

  15. Distilling peat and other carbonaceous matters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stones, W B


    Improvements in treating peat and other carbonaceous and ligneous matters, so as to obtain products therefrom are disclosed. These improvements consist, first, of a machine for compressing and partially drying peat. The unpressed peat is put into boxes and these into frames which are passed through between the bowls of a machine resembling a pair of squeezers. Secondly, consists in distilling, at a temperature of, say 700/sup 0/F, the compressed peat, with or without the addition of tar or fatty matter in retorts, and condensing the vapors in a series of vessels, arranged after the manner of Wolfe's bottles. The resulting charcoal may be extinguished by passing carbonic acid through it while in an air-tight box or chamber, and it may then be compressed into bricks, and used for locomotives and other purposes.

  16. Photolytic process for gasification of carbonaceous material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zenty, S.


    Process and apparatus are disclosed for converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide by subjecting the carbon dioxide to radiation in the presence of carbonaceous material such as coal to form carbon monoxide. The preferred form of radiation is solar energy, and the process is preferably carried out in an atmosphere essentially free of oxygen. The invention also includes subjecting carbon monoxide to radiation to form purified carbon and useful heat energy. The two procedures can be combined into a single process for converting solar or other energy into useful thermal energy with the production of useful products. The reactor apparatus is specifically designed to carry out the radiation-induced conversions. Coal can be desulfurized and its caking characteristics altered by solar radiation in the presence of suitable gases. 3 figures

  17. Rationalization of Comet Halley's periods (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.


    The sense of long axis orientation of Comet Halley during the Vega 1 encounter must be reversed from that deduced by Sagdeev et al. (1986) in order to harmonize the comet nucleus' Vega/Giotto-observed orientations with periodicities extracted from time-series brightness data. It is also demonstrated that Vega/Giotto observations can be satisfied by either a 2.2- or 3.7-day long-axis free precession period. A novel Fourier algorithm is used to reanalyze five independent data sets; strong evidence is adduced for periods harmonically related to a 7.4-day period. The preferred candidate models for Halley's nuclear rotation are characterized by a long-axis precession period of 3.7 days.

  18. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention. (United States)

    Santoro, Raffaela; Ferraiuolo, Maria; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Muti, Paola; Strano, Sabrina


    The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

  19. Radar observations of Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, D.B.; Harmon, J.K.; Shapiro, I.I.


    Five nights of Arecibo radar observations of Comet Halley are reported which reveal a feature in the overall average spectrum which, though weak, seems consistent with being an echo from the comet. The large radar cross section and large bandwidth of the feature suggest that the echo is predominantly from large grains which have been ejected from the nucleus. Extrapolation of the dust particle size distribution to large grain sizes gives a sufficient number of grains to account for the echo. The lack of a detectable echo from the nucleus, combined with estimates of its size and rotation rate from spacecraft encounters and other data, indicate that the nucleus has a surface of relatively high porosity. 33 references

  20. Comet Halley, parameter study I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, W.F.; Fikani, M.M.


    To aid in defining a mission to comet P/Halley, its inner coma is simulated by a computer program that models time-dependent chemical reactions in a radially and isentropically expanding gas, taking into account attenuation of solar ultraviolet radiation in the subsolar direction. Column density predictions are based on intelligently selected combinations of poorly known values for nucleus parameters that include size, visual albedo, and infrared emissivity. Only one chemical composition and a minor modification of it are considered here; the dust-to-gas ratio in this model is zero. Although the somewhat optimistically volatile composition chosen here favors a smaller nucleus, a mean nuclear radius of only 0.5 km is unlikely. No significant increase of molecular column density is predicted by this model as a spacecraft approaches, once it is less than a few 10 4 km from the nucleus. Predictions are made for various heliocentric distances of interest for comet missions and for ground observations

  1. Comet Halley: nucleus and jets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagdeev, R.Z.; Avanesov, G.A.; Barinov, I.V.


    The VEGA-1 and VEGA-2 spacecrafts made their closest approach to Comet Halley on 6 and 9 March, respectively. In this paper results of the onboard imaging experiment are discussed. The nucleus of the comet was clearly identifyable as an irregularly shaped object with overall dimensions of (16+-1)x(8+-1)x(8+-1) km. The nucleus rotates around its axis which is nearly perpendicular to the orbital plane, with a period of 53+-2 hours. Its albedo is only 0.04+-002. Most of the jet features observed during the second fly-by were spatially reconstructed. These sources form a quasi-linear structure on the surface. The dust above the surface is shown to be optically thin except certain specific dust jets. Brightness features on the surface are clearly seen. Correlating the data with other measurements it is concluded that the dirty snow-ball model probably has to be revised. (author)

  2. Age determination of meteorites using radioactive nuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanimizu, Masaharu


    Recently, the precise isotope ratios of some refractory elements in meteorites have been reported using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The in situ decay of 182 Hf (T 1/2 =9 Myr), which was produced at the latest nucleosynthesis, is recognized in many meteorites as isotopic anomalies of its daughter isotope, 182 W. The degrees of relative 182 W isotopic deviation in extra-terrestrial and terrestrial silicate samples vary from +0.3% to ±0% related to the size of their parent bodies. One ready interpretation of its correlation is the difference in timing of metal-silicate separation in the parent bodies. Between the earth and meteorite parent bodies, the difference is calculated to be about four times of the half-life of 182 Hf, equivalent to 36 Myr. (author)

  3. Solar wind stagnation near comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galeev, A.A.; Cravens, T.E.; Gombosi, T.I.


    The nature of the solar wind flow near comets is examined analytically. In particular, the typical values for the stagnation pressure and magnetic barrier strength are estimated, taking into account the magnetic field line tension and the charge exchange cooling of the mass loaded solar wind. Knowledge of the strength of the magnetic barrier is required in order to determine the location of the contact discontinuity which separates the contaminated solar wind plasma and the outflowing plasma of the cometary ionosphere. (author)

  4. Molecular and elemental analyses of the carbonaceous matter in the gold and uranium bearing Vaal Reef carbon seams, Witwatersrand sequence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zumberge, J.E.; Sigleo, A.C.; Nagy, B.


    The thin Vaal Reef carbon seams consist of a complex, solid, and solvent insoluble, polymer-like substance, containing mainly hydrocarbons and some organic sulphur and oxygen compounds. These carbon seams are not pure carbon, e.g. graphite, and do not contain only hydrocarbons. According to modern terminology the Vaal Reef carbonaceous matter is most appropriately referred to as kerogen rather than carbon or thucholite. This kerogen is not the result of the polymerization of gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons, but rather of the polymerization of biochemicals from decayed, primitive Precambrian micro-organisms. These microbiota formed mats in which uranium minerals and gold became incorporated before burial under younger sediments. Organic geochemistry was first developed as a means to elucidate the nature and composition of petroleum and coal. Later it was successfully used in lunar sample, planetary surface, and meteorite studies as well as in investigations of kerogens in terrestrial sediments of various ages. Considering economic geology, organic geochemistry holds promise for elucidating the origin and helping in the exploration of carbonaceous ore deposits. The purpose of this report is to review some of the major current organic geochemical methods and to illustrate these by the analysis of the Vaal Reef kerogen. The samples were analysed by a directly connected high vacuum pyrolysis system-gas chromatograph-organic mass spectrometer. Additional analyses were performed by a combined scanning electron microscope-electron microprobe, by the techniques of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and by neutron activation analysis

  5. Fluid-induced organic synthesis in the solar nebula recorded in extraterrestrial dust from meteorites. (United States)

    Vollmer, Christian; Kepaptsoglou, Demie; Leitner, Jan; Busemann, Henner; Spring, Nicole H; Ramasse, Quentin M; Hoppe, Peter; Nittler, Larry R


    Isotopically anomalous carbonaceous grains in extraterrestrial samples represent the most pristine organics that were delivered to the early Earth. Here we report on gentle aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy investigations of eight (15)N-rich or D-rich organic grains within two carbonaceous Renazzo-type (CR) chondrites and two interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) originating from comets. Organic matter in the IDP samples is less aromatic than that in the CR chondrites, and its functional group chemistry is mainly characterized by C-O bonding and aliphatic C. Organic grains in CR chondrites are associated with carbonates and elemental Ca, which originate either from aqueous fluids or possibly an indigenous organic source. One distinct grain from the CR chondrite NWA 852 exhibits a rim structure only visible in chemical maps. The outer part is nanoglobular in shape, highly aromatic, and enriched in anomalous nitrogen. Functional group chemistry of the inner part is similar to spectra from IDP organic grains and less aromatic with nitrogen below the detection limit. The boundary between these two areas is very sharp. The direct association of both IDP-like organic matter with dominant C-O bonding environments and nanoglobular organics with dominant aromatic and C-N functionality within one unique grain provides for the first time to our knowledge strong evidence for organic synthesis in the early solar system activated by an anomalous nitrogen-containing parent body fluid.

  6. Halley comet, implication on the origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Festou, M.C.


    One will first give a rapid description of the different parts that compose a comet coma. Then one will describe the spectrum of comets from the UV to the IR regions with special emphasis on how information relative to the physico-chemistry of comet atmospheres can be retrieved. Our basic knowledge about the composition of comets before 1985 will be summarized and the input of the 1985-86 observing campaign of comet Halley will be shown (in situ, ground-based and space borne observations). One will see then that the chemical composition of comets appears as of today completely compatible with a formation from pre-solar matter that condensed inside the solar system [fr

  7. Catalogue of meteorites from South America

    CERN Document Server

    Acevedo, Rogelio Daniel; García, Víctor Manuel


    The first Catalogue of Meteorites from South America includes new specimens never previously reported, while doubtful cases and pseudometeorites have been deliberately omitted.The falling of these objects is a random event, but the sites where old meteorites are found tend to be focused in certain areas, e.g. in the deflation surfaces in Chile's Atacama Desert, due to favorable climate conditions and ablation processes.Our Catalogue provides basic information on each specimen like its provenance and the place where it was discovered (in geographic co-ordinates and with illustrative maps), its

  8. The Insoluble Carbonaceous Material of CM Chondrites as Possible Source of Discrete Organics During the Asteroidal Aqueous Phase (United States)

    Yabuta, H.; Williams, L.; Cody, G.; Pizzarello, S.


    The larger portion of the organic carbon in carbonaceous chondrites (CC) is present as a complex and heterogeneous macromolecular material that is insoluble in acids and most solvents (IOM). So far, it has been analyzed only as a whole by microscopy (TEM) and spectroscopy (IR, NMR, EPR), which have offered and overview of its chemical nature, bonding, and functional group composition. Chemical or pyrolytic decomposition has also been used in combination with GC-MS to identify individual compounds released by these processes. Their value in the recognition of the original IOM structure resides in the ability to properly interpret the decomposition pathways for any given process. We report here a preliminary study of IOM from the Murray meteorite that combines both the analytical approaches described above, under conditions that would realistically model the IOM hydrothermal exposure in the meteorite parent body. The aim is to document the possible release of water and solvent soluble organics, determine possible changes in NMR spectral features, and ascertain, by extension, the effect of this loss on the frame of the IOM residue. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  9. The amino acid and hydrocarbon contents of the Paris meteorite: Insights into the most primitive CM chondrite (United States)

    Martins, Zita; Modica, Paola; Zanda, Brigitte; D'Hendecourt, Louis Le Sergeant


    The Paris meteorite is one of the most primitive carbonaceous chondrites. It is reported to be the least aqueously altered CM chondrite, and to have experienced only weak thermal metamorphism. We have analyzed for the first time the amino acid and hydrocarbon contents of this pristine meteorite by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). When plotting the relative amino acids abundances of several CM chondrites according to the increasing hydrothermal scale (petrologic subtypes), from the CM2.7/2.8 Paris to the CM2.0 MET 01070, Paris has the lowest relative abundance of β-alanine/glycine (0.15), which fits with the relative abundances of β-alanine/glycine increasing with increasing aqueous alteration for CM chondrites. These results confirm the influence of aqueous alteration on the amino acid abundances and distribution. The amino acid analysis shows that the isovaline detected in this meteorite is racemic (D/L = 0.99 ± 0.08; L-enantiomer excess = 0.35 ± 0.5%; corrected D/L = 1.03; corrected L-enantiomer excess = -1.4 ± 2.6%). The identified hydrocarbons show that Paris has n-alkanes ranging from C16 to C25 and 3- to 5-ring nonalkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The lack of alkylated PAHs in Paris seems to be also related to this low degree of aqueous alteration on its parent body. The extraterrestrial hydrocarbon content, suggested by the absence of any biomarker, may well have a presolar origin. The chemistry of the Paris meteorite may thus be closely related to the early stages of the solar nebula with a contribution from interstellar (molecular cloud) precursors.

  10. The Effect of Aqueous Alteration in Antarctic Carbonaceous Chondrites from Comparative ICP-MS Bulk Chemistry (United States)

    Alonso-Azcarate, J.; Trigo-Rodriguez, J. M.; Moyano-Cambero, C. E.; Zolensky, M.


    Terrestrial ages of Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites (CC) indicate that these meteorites have been preserved in or on ice for, at least, tens of thousands of years. Due to the porous structure of these chondrites formed by the aggregation of silicate-rich chondrules, refractory inclusions, metal grains, and fine-grained matrix materials, the effect of pervasive terrestrial water is relevant. Our community defends that pristine CC matrices are representing samples of scarcely processed protoplanetary disk materials as they contain stellar grains, but they might also trace parent body processes. It is important to study the effects of terrestrial aqueous alteration in promoting bulk chemistry changes, and creating distinctive alteration minerals. Particularly because it is thought that aqueous alteration has particularly played a key role in some CC groups in modifying primordial bulk chemistry, and homogenizing the isotopic content of fine-grained matrix materials. Fortunately, the mineralogy produced by parent-body and terrestrial aqueous alteration processes is distinctive. With the goal to learn more about terrestrial alteration in Antarctica we are obtaining reflectance spectra of CCs, but also performing ICP-MS bulk chemistry of the different CC groups. A direct comparison with the mean bulk elemental composition of recovered falls might inform us on the effects of terrestrial alteration in finds. With such a goal, in the current work we have analyzed some members representative of CO and CM chondrite groups.

  11. Space weathering trends on carbonaceous asteroids: A possible explanation for Bennu's blue slope? (United States)

    Lantz, C.; Binzel, R. P.; DeMeo, F. E.


    We compare primitive near-Earth asteroid spectral properties to the irradiated carbonaceous chondrite samples of Lantz et al. (2017) in order to assess how space weathering processes might influence taxonomic classification. Using the same eigenvectors from the asteroid taxonomy by DeMeo et al. (2009), we calculate the principal components for fresh and irradiated meteorites and find that change in spectral slope (blueing or reddening) causes a corresponding shift in the two first principal components along the same line that the C- and X-complexes track. Using a sample of B-, C-, X-, and D-type NEOs with visible and near-infrared spectral data, we further investigated the correlation between prinicipal components and the spectral curvature for the primitive asteroids. We find that space weathering effects are not just slope and albedo, but also include spectral curvature. We show how, through space weathering, surfaces having an original "C-type" reflectance can thus turn into a redder P-type or a bluer B-type, and that space weathering can also decrease (and disguise) the D-type population. Finally we take a look at the case of OSIRIS-REx target (101955) Bennu and propose an explanation for the blue and possibly red spectra that were previously observed on different locations of its surface: parts of Bennu's surface could have become blue due to space weathering, while fresher areas are redder. No clear prediction can be made on Hayabusa-2 target (162173) Ryugu.

  12. Matrix mineralogy of the Lance CO3 carbonaceous chondrite: A transmission electron microscope study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keller, L.P.; Buseck, P.R.


    The Lance CO3 carbonaceous chondrite (CC) is less altered than the CI and CM chondrites and so provides a view of the mineralogy and textures resulting from the earliest stages of aqueous alteration of CCs. Matrix olivine in Lance has been partly altered to fine-grained, Fe-bearing serpentine and poorly crystalline Fe 3+ oxide, a process that required both hydration and oxidation. Serpentine occurs as discrete packets separated from the olivine surfaces by the Fe 3+ oxide. The Fe released during the dissolution of olivine was partly incorporated into the serpentine; the remainder was oxidized to form Fe 3+ oxide. Matrix metal was also altered to produce Fe oxides, leaving the residual metal enriched in Ni. Olivine grains in Lance matrix contain channels along their [100] and [001] directions. The formation and convergence of such channels resulted in a grain-size reduction of the olivine. The alteration was pervasive but incomplete, suggesting a limited availability of fluid. A brief study of two other CO chondrites, Kainsaz and Warrenton, shows that these meteorites do not contain phyllosilicates in their matrices, although both contain Fe 3+ oxide between olivine grains. Prior to its alteration, Lance probably resembled Kainsaz, an unaltered CO3 chondrite. The alteration assemblage in Lance is only slightly different from that in Mokoia and essentially the same as that in C3 xenoliths from Murchison. Alteration products in Lance show greater similarities to CI than to CM chondrites

  13. A Mudball Model for the Evolution of Carbonaceous Asteroids (United States)

    Travis, B. J.; Bland, P. A.


    We simulation the evolution of carbonaceous chondrite parent bodies from initially unconsolidated aggregations of rock grains and ice crystals. Application of the numerical model MAGHNUM to evolution of CM type planetesimals and Ceres is described.

  14. On thermodynamics of methane+carbonaceous materials adsorption

    KAUST Repository

    Rahman, Kazi Afzalur; Chakraborty, Anutosh; Saha, Bidyut Baran; Ng, Kim Choon


    This study presents the theoretical frameworks for the thermodynamic quantities namely the heat of adsorption, specific heat capacity, entropy, and enthalpy for the adsorption of methane onto various carbonaceous materials. The proposed theoretical

  15. Carbonaceous Asteroid Volatile Recovery (CAVoR) system, Phase II (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Carbonaceous Asteroid Volatile Recovery (CAVoR) system produces water and hydrogen-rich syngas for propellant production, life support consumables, and...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Testing of carbonaceous adsorbents for removal of pollutants from water. Relevant direction for improving of quality of potable water is application of active carbons at various stages of water treatments. This work includes complex research dealing with testing of a broad spectrum of carbonaceous adsorbents for removal of hydrogen sulfide and nitrite ions from water. The role of the surface functional groups of carbonaceous adsorbents, their acid-basic properties, and the influence of the type of impregnated heteroatom (N, O, or metals (Fe, Cu, Ni, on removal of hydrogen sulfide species and nitrite ions have been researched. The efficiency of the catalyst obtained from peach stones by impregnation with Cu2+ ions of oxidized active carbon was established, being recommended for practical purposes to remove the hydrogen sulfide species from the sulfurous ground waters. Comparative analysis of carbonaceous adsorbents reveals the importance of surface chemistry for oxidation of nitrite ions.

  17. Meteorite Dichotomy Implies that Jupiter Formed Early (United States)

    Kruijer, T. S.; Burkhardt, C.; Budde, G.; Kleine, T.


    Meteorites derive from two distinct nebular reservoirs that co-existed and remained spatially separated between 1 and 3–4 Ma after CAIs. This can most easily be explained if Jupiter acted as a barrier and formed early, within less than 1 Ma.

  18. Mössbauer study of Slovak meteorites (United States)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J.; Degmová, J.; Porubčan, V.


    57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in the investigation of iron containing compounds of two meteorites (Rumanová and Košice) out of total of six which had fallen on Slovak territory. In the magnetic fraction of the iron bearing compounds in the Rumanová meteorite, maghemite, troilite and Fe-Ni alloy were identified. In the non-magnetic fraction silicate phases were found, such as olivine and pyroxene. The paramagnetic component containing Fe3 + ions corresponds probably to small superparamagnetic particles. The Košice meteorite was found near the town of Košice in February 2010. Its magnetic fraction consists of a Fe-Ni alloy with the Mössbauer parameters of the magnetic field corresponding to kamacite α-Fe(Ni, Co) and troilite. The non-magnetic part consists of Fe2 + phases such as olivine and pyroxene and traces of a Fe3 + phase. The main difference between these meteorites is their iron oxide content. These kinds of analyses can bring important knowledge about phases and compounds formed in extraterrestrial conditions, which have other features than their terrestrial analogues.

  19. Determination of Meteorite Porosity Using Liquid Nitrogen (United States)

    Kohout, T.; Kletetschka, G.; Pesonen, L. J.; Wasilewski, P. J.


    We introduce a new harmless method for porosity measurement suitable for meteorite samples. The method is a modification of the traditional Archimedean method based on immersion of the samples in a liquid medium like water or organic liquids. In our case we used liquid nitrogen for its chemically inert characteristics.

  20. Magnetism in meteorites. [terminology, principles and techniques (United States)

    Herndon, J. M.; Rowe, M. W.


    An overview of this subject is presented. The paper includes a glossary of magnetism terminology and a discussion of magnetic techniques used in meteorite research. These techniques comprise thermomagnetic analysis, alternating field demagnetization, thermal demagnetization, magnetic anisotropy, low-temperature cycling, and coercive forces, with emphasis on the first method. Limitations on the validity of paleointensity determinations are also discussed.

  1. Isotopic evidence for extraterrestrial non- racemic amino acids in the Murchison meteorite (United States)

    Engel, M. H.; Macko, S. A.


    Many amino acids contain an asymmetric centre, occurring as laevorotatory, L, or dextrorotatory, D, compounds. It is generally assumed that abiotic synthesis of amino acids on the early Earth resulted in racemic mixtures (L- and D-enantiomers in equal abundance). But the origin of life required, owing to conformational constraints, the almost exclusive selection of either L- or D-enantiomers, and the question of why living systems on the Earth consist of L-enantiomers rather than D-enantiomers is unresolved. A substantial fraction of the organic compounds on the early Earth may have been derived from comet and meteorite impacts. It has been reported previously that amino acids in the Murchison meteorite exhibit an excess of L-enantiomers, raising the possibility that a similar excess was present in the initial inventory of organic compounds on the Earth. The stable carbon isotope compositions of individual amino acids in Murchison support an extraterrestrial origin-rather than a terrestrial overprint of biological amino acids-although reservations have persisted (see, for example, ref. 9). Here we show that individual amino-acid enantiomers from Murchison are enriched in 15N relative to their terrestrial counterparts, so confirming an extraterrestrial source for an L-enantiomer excess in the Solar System that may predate the origin of life on the Earth.

  2. Modeling the Thermal Interactions of Meteorites Below the Antarctic Ice (United States)

    Oldroyd, William Jared; Radebaugh, Jani; Stephens, Denise C.; Lorenz, Ralph; Harvey, Ralph; Karner, James


    Meteorites with high specific gravities, such as irons, appear to be underrepresented in Antarctic collections over the last 40 years. This underrepresentation is in comparison with observed meteorite falls, which are believed to represent the actual population of meteorites striking Earth. Meteorites on the Antarctic ice sheet absorb solar flux, possibly leading to downward tunneling into the ice, though observations of this in action are very limited. This descent is counteracted by ice sheet flow supporting the meteorites coupled with ablation near mountain margins, which helps to force meteorites towards the surface. Meteorites that both absorb adequate thermal energy and are sufficiently dense may instead reach a shallow equilibrium depth as downward melting overcomes upward forces during the Antarctic summer. Using a pyronometer, we have measured the incoming solar flux at multiple depths in two deep field sites in Antarctica, the Miller Range and Elephant Moraine. We compare these data with laboratory analogues and model the thermal and physical interactions between a variety of meteorites and their surroundings. Our Matlab code model will account for a wide range of parameters used to characterize meteorites in an Antarctic environment. We will present the results of our model along with depth estimates for several types of meteorites. The recovery of an additional population of heavy meteorites would increase our knowledge of the formation and composition of the solar system.

  3. Cosmic-ray exposure records and origins of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.C.


    The cosmic-ray records of meteorites can be used to infer much about their origins and recent histories. Some meteorites had simple cosmic-ray exposure histories, while others had complex exposure histories with their cosmogenic products made both before and after a collision in space. The methods used to interpret meteorites' cosmic-ray records, especially identifying simple or complex exposure histories, often are inadequate. Besides spallogenic radionuclides and stable nuclides, measurements of products that have location-sensitive production rates, such as the tracks of heavy cosmic-ray nuclei or neutron-capture nuclides, are very useful in accurately determining a meteorite's history. Samples from different, known locations of a meteorite help in studying the cosmic-ray record. Such extensive sets of meteorite measurements, plus theoretical modeling of complex histories, will improve our ability to predict the production of cosmogenic nuclides in meteorites, to distinguish simple and complex exposure histories, and to better determine exposure ages

  4. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.


    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  5. Elemental composition analysis of stony meteorites discovered in Phitsanulok, Thailand (United States)

    Loylip, T.; Wannawichian, S.


    A meteorite is a fragment of pure stone, iron or the mixture of stony-iron. The falling of meteorites into Earth’s surface is part of Earth’s accretion process from dust and rocks in our solar system. When these fragments come close enough to the Earth to be attracted by its gravity, they may fall into the Earth. Following the detection of objects that fall from the sky onto a home in Phitsanulok in June 27, the meteorites were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) instruments. The results from SEM/EDS analysis show that the meteorites are mainly composed of Fe-Ni and Fe-s. The meteorite is Achondrite, a class of meteorite which does not contain Chondrule. The meteorites in this work are thought to be part of a large asteroid.

  6. Meteorite and meteoroid: New comprehensive definitions (United States)

    Rubin, A.E.; Grossman, J.N.


    Meteorites have traditionally been defined as solid objects that have fallen to Earth from space. This definition, however, is no longer adequate. In recent decades, man-made objects have fallen to Earth from space, meteorites have been identified on the Moon and Mars, and small interplanetary objects have impacted orbiting spacecraft. Taking these facts and other potential complications into consideration, we offer new comprehensive definitions of the terms "meteorite,""meteoroid," and their smaller counterparts: A meteoroid is a 10-??m to 1-m-size natural solid object moving in interplanetary space. A micrometeoroid is a meteoroid 10 ??m to 2 mm in size. A meteorite is a natural, solid object larger than 10 ??m in size, derived from a celestial body, that was transported by natural means from the body on which it formed to a region outside the dominant gravitational influence of that body and that later collided with a natural or artificial body larger than itself (even if it is the same body from which it was launched). Weathering and other secondary processes do not affect an object's status as a meteorite as long as something recognizable remains of its original minerals or structure. An object loses its status as a meteorite if it is incorporated into a larger rock that becomes a meteorite itself. A micrometeorite is a meteorite between 10 ??m and 2 mm in size. Meteorite- "a solid substance or body falling from the high regions of the atmosphere" (Craig 1849); "[a] mass of stone and iron that ha[s] been directly observed to have fallen down to the Earth's surface" (translated from Cohen 1894); "[a] solid bod[y] which came to the earth from space" (Farrington 1915); "A mass of solid matter, too small to be considered an asteroid; either traveling through space as an unattached unit, or having landed on the earth and still retaining its identity" (Nininger 1933); "[a meteoroid] which has reached the surface of the Earth without being vaporized" (1958

  7. Carbonaceous aerosols in Norwegian urban areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. E. Yttri


    Full Text Available Little is known regarding levels and source strength of carbonaceous aerosols in Scandinavia. In the present study, ambient aerosol (PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations of elemental carbon (EC, organic carbon (OC, water-insoluble organic carbon (WINSOC, and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC are reported for a curbside site, an urban background site, and a suburban site in Norway in order to investigate their spatial and seasonal variations. Aerosol filter samples were collected using tandem filter sampling to correct for the positive sampling artefact introduced by volatile and semivolatile OC. Analyses were performed using the thermal optical transmission (TOT instrument from Sunset Lab Inc., which corrects for charring during analysis. Finally, we estimated the relative contribution of OC from wood burning based on the samples content of levoglucosan.

    Levels of EC varied by more than one order of magnitude between sites, likely due to the higher impact of vehicular traffic at the curbside and the urban background sites. In winter, the level of particulate organic carbon (OCp at the suburban site was equal to (for PM10 or even higher (for PM2.5 than the levels observed at the curbside and the urban background sites. This finding was attributed to the impact of residential wood burning at the suburban site in winter, which was confirmed by a high mean concentration of levoglucosan (407 ng m−3. This finding indicates that exposure to primary combustion derived OCp could be equally high in residential areas as in a city center. It is demonstrated that OCp from wood burning (OCwood accounted for almost all OCp at the suburban site in winter, allowing a new estimate of the ratio TCp/levoglucosan for both PM10 and PM2.5. Particulate carbonaceous material (PCM

  8. Spectrophotometry of 25 comets - Post-Halley updates for 17 comets plus new observations for eight additional comets (United States)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.; Spinrad, Hyron


    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986.

  9. Detection of a meteorite 'stream' - Observations of a second meteorite fall from the orbit of the Innisfree chondrite (United States)

    Halliday, I.


    The first observational evidence of multiple meteorite falls from the same orbit is adduced from the February 6, 1980 fall of a meteorite precisely 3 yr after the fall of the Innisfree meteorite. Due consideration of the detection probability for two related objects with the meteorite camera network in western Canada suggests that the Innisfree brecciated LL chondrite was a near-surface fragment from a parent object whose radius was of the order of several tens of meters. A meteorite mass of 1.8 kg is predicted for the new object, whose recovery in the vicinity of Ridgedale, Saskatchewan, is now sought for the sake of comparison with the Innisfree chondrite.

  10. Fused Bead Analysis of Diogenite Meteorites (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D.W.; Beck, B.W.; McSween, H.Y.; Lee, C.T. A.


    Bulk rock chemistry is an essential dataset in meteoritics and planetary science [1]. A common method used to obtain the bulk chemistry of meteorites is ICP-MS. While the accuracy, precision and low detection limits of this process are advantageous [2], the sample size used for analysis (approx.70 mg) can be a problem in a field where small and finite samples are the norm. Fused bead analysis is another bulk rock analytical technique that has been used in meteoritics [3]. This technique involves forming a glass bead from 10 mg of sample and measuring its chemistry using a defocused beam on a microprobe. Though the ICP-MS has lower detection limits than the microprobe, the fused bead method destroys a much smaller sample of the meteorite. Fused bead analysis was initially designed for samples with near-eutectic compositions and low viscosities. Melts generated of this type homogenize at relatively low temperatures and produce primary melts near the sample s bulk composition [3]. The application of fused bead analysis to samples with noneutectic melt compositions has not been validated. The purpose of this study is to test if fused bead analysis can accurately determine the bulk rock chemistry of non-eutectic melt composition meteorites. To determine this, we conduct two examinations of the fused bead. First, we compare ICP-MS and fused bead results of the same samples using statistical analysis. Secondly, we inspect the beads for the presence of crystals and chemical heterogeneity. The presence of either of these would indicate incomplete melting and quenching of the bead.

  11. Comet Dust After Deep Impact (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.


    When the Deep Impact Mission hit Jupiter Family comet 9P/Tempel 1, an ejecta crater was formed and an pocket of volatile gases and ices from 10-30 m below the surface was exposed (A Hearn et aI. 2005). This resulted in a gas geyser that persisted for a few hours (Sugita et al, 2005). The gas geyser pushed dust grains into the coma (Sugita et a1. 2005), as well as ice grains (Schulz et al. 2006). The smaller of the dust grains were submicron in radii (0-25.3 micron), and were primarily composed of highly refractory minerals including amorphous (non-graphitic) carbon, and silicate minerals including amorphous (disordered) olivine (Fe,Mg)2SiO4 and pyroxene (Fe,Mg)SiO3 and crystalline Mg-rich olivine. The smaller grains moved faster, as expected from the size-dependent velocity law produced by gas-drag on grains. The mineralogy evolved with time: progressively larger grains persisted in the near nuclear region, having been imparted with slower velocities, and the mineralogies of these larger grains appeared simpler and without crystals. The smaller 0.2-0.3 micron grains reached the coma in about 1.5 hours (1 arc sec = 740 km), were more diverse in mineralogy than the larger grains and contained crystals, and appeared to travel through the coma together. No smaller grains appeared at larger coma distances later (with slower velocities), implying that if grain fragmentation occurred, it happened within the gas acceleration zone. These results of the high spatial resolution spectroscopy (GEMINI+Michelle: Harker et 4. 2005, 2006; Subaru+COMICS: Sugita et al. 2005) revealed that the grains released from the interior were different from the nominally active areas of this comet by their: (a) crystalline content, (b) smaller size, (c) more diverse mineralogy. The temporal changes in the spectra, recorded by GEMIM+Michelle every 7 minutes, indicated that the dust mineralogy is inhomogeneous and, unexpectedly, the portion of the size distribution dominated by smaller grains has

  12. Dark matter as a trigger for periodic comet impacts. (United States)

    Randall, Lisa; Reece, Matthew


    Although statistical evidence is not overwhelming, possible support for an approximately 35×106  yr periodicity in the crater record on Earth could indicate a nonrandom underlying enhancement of meteorite impacts at regular intervals. A proposed explanation in terms of tidal effects on Oort cloud comet perturbations as the Solar System passes through the galactic midplane is hampered by lack of an underlying cause for sufficiently enhanced gravitational effects over a sufficiently short time interval and by the time frame between such possible enhancements. We show that a smooth dark disk in the galactic midplane would address both these issues and create a periodic enhancement of the sort that has potentially been observed. Such a disk is motivated by a novel dark matter component with dissipative cooling that we considered in earlier work. We show how to evaluate the statistical evidence for periodicity by input of appropriate measured priors from the galactic model, justifying or ruling out periodic cratering with more confidence than by evaluating the data without an underlying model. We find that, marginalizing over astrophysical uncertainties, the likelihood ratio for such a model relative to one with a constant cratering rate is 3.0, which moderately favors the dark disk model. Our analysis furthermore yields a posterior distribution that, based on current crater data, singles out a dark matter disk surface density of approximately 10M⊙/pc2. The geological record thereby motivates a particular model of dark matter that will be probed in the near future.

  13. Tracing meteorite source regions through asteroid spectroscopy (United States)

    Thomas, Cristina Ana

    By virtue of their landing on Earth, meteorites reside in near-Earth object (NEO) orbits prior to their arrival. Thus the population of observable NEOs, in principle, gives the best representation of meteorite source bodies. By linking meteorites to NEOs, and linking NEOs to their most likely main-belt source locations, we seek to gain insight into the original solar system formation locations for different meteorite classes. To forge the first link between meteorites and NEOs, we have developed a three dimensional method for quantitative comparisons between laboratory measurements of meteorites and telescopic measurements of near-Earth objects. We utilize meteorite spectra from the Reflectance Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) database and NEO data from the SpeX instrument on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using the Modified Gaussian Model (MGM) as a mathematical tool, we treat asteroid and meteorite spectra identically in the calculation of 1-micron and 2-micron geometric band centers and their band area ratios (BARs). Using these identical numerical parameters we quantitatively compare the spectral properties of S-, Sq-, Q- and V-type NEOs with the spectral properties of the meteorites in the H, L, LL and HED meteorite classes. For each NEO spectrum, we assign a set of probabilities for it being related to each of these meteorite classes. Our NEO- meteorite correlation probabilities are then convolved with NEO-source region probabilities to yield a final set of meteorite-source region correlations. An apparent (significant at the 2.1-sigma level) source region signature is found for the H chondrites to be preferentially delivered to the inner solar system through the 3:1 mean motion resonance. A 3:1 resonance H chondrite source region is consistent with the short cosmic ray exposure ages known for H chondrites. The spectroscopy of asteroids is subject to several sources of inherent error. The source region model used a variety of S-type spectra without

  14. Accretion and Preservation of Organic Matter in Carbonaceous Chondrites as Revealed by NanoSIMS Imaging. (United States)

    Remusat, L.; Guan, Y.; Eiler, J.


    Carbonaceous chondrites are the most primitive known meteorites. Their parent bodies accreted several discrete components of the early solar system: CAIs, other silicates, oxides, sulfides, ice, organics, and noble gases. Radioactive decay of short live radionucleides quickly heated these parent bodies and drove thermal metamorphism and aqueous alteration of their constituents. Despite this post-acretionary modification, at least some components of the organic matter in the carbaceous chondrites retained distinctive isotopic and molecular properties that may relate to their pre-acretionary origins in the protosolar nebula or in the molecular cloud that gave birth to it [1]. These processes that gave rise to early solar-system organic matter and the extent to which it was modified by parent body processes are still a matter of debate [2]. We have acquired NanoSIMS images of matrices of several CI, CM, CR and CV chondrites to document, in- situ, the distribution of organics and their textural and chemical relationships to co-existing inorganic components. Importantly, we performed these analyses on essentially unmodified fragments of matrix material pressed into indium, rather than on extracts, which have been the focus of most previous work on meteoritic organic matter. Specifically, we simultaneously collected H, D, 12C, 18O, 26CN, 28Si and 32S with a spatial resolution of 200 nm. Inorganic constituents of the imaged domains were determined by SEM imaging and EDS analysis. We identify two textural classes of organic constituents: diffuse organic matter and organic particles ~ 1 micron in diameter. The particles are common and do not exhibit any textural association with any inorganic matrix constituent. This distribution is consistent with previous observations by fluorescence optical microscopy [3]. These organic particles are likely primarily composed of insoluble organic matter (IOM) that grew prior to accretion as pure organic particules and was preserved in

  15. Amino Acids from a Comet (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elisla


    NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned samples from comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth in January 2006. Examinations of the organic compounds in cometary samples can reveal information about the prebiotic organic inventory present on the early Earth and within the early Solar System, which may have contributed to the origin of life. Preliminary studies of Stardust material revealed the presence of a suite of organic compounds including several amines and amino acids, but the origin of these compounds (cometary- vs. terrestrial contamination) could not be identified. We have recently measured the carbon isotopic ratios of these amino acids to determine their origin, leading to the first detection of a coetary amino acid.

  16. On the nature of the Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrovol'skij, O.V.; Ioffe, Z.M.


    The results of study of the Halley comet by means of the ''Vega'', ''Suisej'', ''Sakigaki'' and ''Jotton'' space probes are presented in the popular form. The form and composition of the comet nucleus, its atmosphere and processes ocurring when moving in the near-the-solar space are described

  17. Origin of comets - implications for planetary formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.; Arizona Univ., Tucson)


    Primordial and episodic theories for the origin of comets are discussed. The implications of the former type for the origin of the solar system are considered. Candidate sites for the formation of comets are compared. The possible existence of a massive inner Oort cloud is discussed

  18. Meteoroid Streams from Sunskirter Comet Breakup (United States)

    Jenniskens, P. M.


    In its first year of operations, the CAMS project (Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) has measured 47,000 meteoroid orbits at Earth, including some that pass the Sun as close as 0.008 AU. The population density increases significantly above perihelion distance q = 0.037 AU. Meteoroid streams are known with q about 0.1 AU. The Sun has a profound effect on comets that pass at 0.04-0.16 AU distance, called the sunskirter comets. SOHO and STEREO see families of small comets called the Marsden and Kracht groups. Sunlight is efficiently scattered by small 10-m sized fragments, making those fragments visible even when far from Earth. These comet groups are associated with meteor showers on Earth, in particular the Daytime Arietids and Delta Aquariids. All are related to 96P/Machholz, a highly inclined short-period (5.2 year) Jupiter family comet that comes to within 0.12 AU from the Sun, the smallest perihelion distance known among numbered comets. The proximity of the Sun speeds up the disintegration process, providing us a unique window on this important decay mechanism of Jupiter family comets and creating meteoroid streams. These are not the only sunskirting comets, however. In this presentation, we will present CAMS observations of the complete low-q meteoroid population at Earth and review their association with known parent bodies.

  19. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 meets Jupiter. (United States)

    Levy, D. H.; Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.


    The impact of comet D/1993 F2 (Shoemaker-Levy 9) with Jupiter was unforgettable, an event probably not to be repeated for millennia to come. One year later the astronomers who first spotted the comet reflect on their discovery, on the anxious months of anticipation before the collision and on what has been learned since.

  20. Comet mission hopes to uncover Earth's origins

    CERN Multimedia

    Henderson, M


    "A European spacecraft that will hunt down a comet in search of clues to the origin of life on Earth will blast off tomorrow from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The Rosetta probe will take 12 years to catch up with Churyumov-Gerasimenko before becoming the first spacecraft to make a soft, controlled landing on a comet's nucleus" (1 page).

  1. Origin of Short-Perihelion Comets (United States)

    Guliyev, A. S.


    New regularities for short-perihelion comets are found. Distant nodes of cometary orbits of Kreutz family are concentrated in a plane with ascending node 76 and inclination 267 at the distance from 2 up to 3 a.u. and in a very narrow interval of longitudes. There is a correlation dependence between q and cos I concerning the found plane (coefficient of correlation 0.41). Similar results are received regarding to cometary families of Meyer, Kracht and Marsden. Distant nodes of these comets are concentrated close three planes (their parameters are discussed in the article) and at distances 1.4; 0.5; 6 a.u. accordingly. It is concluded that these comet groups were formed as a result of collision of parent bodies with meteoric streams. One more group, consisting of 7 comets is identified. 5 comet pairs are selected among sungrazers.

  2. Comets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Schmude, Richard


    Comets have inspired wonder, excitement and even fear ever since they were first observed. They contain material from early in the life of the Solar System, held in deep-freeze. This makes them key in our understanding of the formation and evolution of many Solar System bodies. Recent ground- and space-based observations have changed much in our understanding of comets. Comets and How to Observe Them gives a summary of our current knowledge and describes how amateur astronomers can contribute to the body of scientific knowledge of comets. This book contains many practical examples of how to construct comet light-curves, measure how fast a comet’s coma expands, and determine the rotation period of the nucleus. All these examples are illustrated with drawings and photographs.

  3. Antioxidants and the Comet assay. (United States)

    Cemeli, Eduardo; Baumgartner, Adolf; Anderson, Diana


    It is widely accepted that antioxidants, either endogenous or from the diet, play a key role in preserving health. They are able to quench radical species generated in situations of oxidative stress, either triggered by pathologies or xenobiotics, and they protect the integrity of DNA from genotoxicants. Nevertheless, there are still many compounds with unclear or unidentified prooxidant/antioxidant activities. This is of concern since there is an increase in the number of compounds synthesized or extracted from vegetables to which humans might be exposed. Despite the well-established protective effects of fruit and vegetables, the antioxidant(s) responsible have not all been clearly identified. There might also be alternative mechanisms contributing to the protective effects for which a comprehensive description is lacking. In the last two decades, the Comet assay has been extensively used for the investigation of the effects of antioxidants and many reports can be found in the literature. The Comet assay, a relatively fast, simple, and sensitive technique for the analysis of DNA damage in all cell types, has been applied for the screening of chemicals, biomonitoring and intervention studies. In the present review, several of the most well-known antioxidants are considered. These include: catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, selenium, iron chelators, melatonin, melanin, vitamins (A, B, C and E), carotenes, flavonoids, isoflavones, tea polyphenols, wine polyphenols and synthetic antioxidants. Investigations showing beneficial as well as non-beneficial properties of the antioxidants selected, either at the in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo level are discussed.

  4. comets in the STIP context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, M.K.


    Fluid descriptions of plasma motion through a cometary coma are briefly sketched, distinguishing the bow shock and ionizing flow region mainly within it, the tail region and ray structure, and the 'ionosphere' coupled closely to the expanding cometary gas. Whether there is a contact discontinuity or continuous transition between the incoming flow and the ionosphere depends on solar fluxes rather than comet size. A discontinuity as observed requires much faster ionization in the inner coma or severe collisional cooling of incoming plasma. Changes in structure and brightness may reflect solar UV and solar plasma variations, but may also be evidence of intrinsic instabilities of hydrodynamic/MHD or chemically-reactive flow. Molecular ionization and dissociation processes strongly influence the stagnation region ahead of the comet, and make it particularly susceptible to flow instabilities. Solar UV variations are energetically dominant within the ionosphere, changing the evaporation and chemical reaction rates, and probably stimulate dust halos. Shocked changes in the solar wind propagating through the head can trigger structural and intensity fluctuations in the plasma, notably disruptions of the plasma tail. (Auth.)

  5. Carbonaceous species in atmospheric aerosols from the Krakow area (Malopolska District: carbonaceous species dry deposition analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szramowiat Katarzyna


    Full Text Available Organic and elemental carbon content in PM10 was studied at three sites in Malopolska District representing the city centre (Krakow, rural/residential (Bialka and residential/industrial environments (Krakow. The PM10 samples were collected during the winter time study. The highest concentrations of carbonaceous species were observed in Skawina (36.9 μg·m-3 of OC and 9.6 μg·m-3 of EC. The lowest OC and EC concentrations were reported in Krakow (15.2 μg·m-3 and 3.9 μg·m-3, respectively. The highest concentration of carbonaceous species and the highest wind velocities in Skawina influenced the highest values of the dry deposition fluxes. Correlations between OC, EC and chemical constituents and meteorological parameters suggest that a Krakow was influenced by local emission sources and temperature inversion occurrence; b Bialka was under the influence of local emission sources and long-range transport of particles; c Skawina was impacted by local emission sources.

  6. The Amino Acid Composition of the Sutter's Mill Carbonaceous Chondrite (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Burton, A. S.; Elsila, J. E.; Dworkin, J. P.; Yin, Q. Z.; Cooper, G.; Jenniskens, P.


    In contrast to the Murchison meteorite which had a complex distribution of amino acids with a total C2 to Cs amino acid abundance of approx.14,000 parts-per-billion (ppb) [2], the Sutters Mill meteorite was found to be highly depleted in amino acids. Much lower abundances (approx.30 to 180 ppb) of glycine, beta-alanine, L-alanine and L-serine were detected in SM2 above procedural blank levels indicating that this meteorite sample experienced only minimal terrestrial amino acid contamination after its fall to Earth. Carbon isotope measurements will be necessary to establish the origin of glycine and beta-alanine in SM2. Other non-protein amino acids that are rare on Earth, yet commonly found in other CM meteorites such as aaminoisobutyric acid (alpha-AIB) and isovaline, were not identified in SM2. However, traces of beta-AIB (approx.1 ppb) were detected in SM2 and could be" extraterrestrial in origin. The low abundances of amino acids in the Sutter's Mill meteorite is consistent with mineralogical evidence that at least some parts of the Sutter's Mill meteorite parent body experienced extensive aqueous and/or thermal alteration.

  7. OpenComet: An automated tool for comet assay image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M. Gyori


    Full Text Available Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  8. The mineral chemistry and origin of inclusion matrix and meteorite matrix in the Allende CV3 chondrite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kornacki, A.S.; Wood, J.A.; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA


    The two textural varieties of olivine-rich Allende inclusions consist primarily of a porous, fine-grained mafic constituent that differs from the opaque meteorite matrix of CV3 chondrites by being relatively depleted in sulfides, metal grains, and carbonaceous material. Olivine is the most abundant mineral in Allende inclusion matrix; clinopyroxene, nepheline, sodalite, and Ti-Al-pyroxene occur in lesser amounts. Olivine in unrimmed olivine aggregates is ferrous and has a narrow compositional range. Olivine in rimmed olivine aggregates is, on average, more magnesian, with a wider compositional range. Olivine grains in the granular rims of Type 1B inclusions are zoned, with magnesian cores and ferrous rinds. Ferrous olivines in both varieties of inclusions commonly contain significant amounts of Al 2 O 3 , CaO and TiO 2 , refractory elements that probably occur in submicroscopic inclusions of Ca, Al, Ti-rich glass. Defocussed beam analyses of Allende matrix materials are discussed. (author)

  9. The carbonaceous concrete based on sawdust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BELOUSOVA Elena Sergeevna


    Full Text Available Today there are many requirements for strength, ecology and economy of produced concretes. The authors of the paper study attenuation of electromagnetic radiation of carbonaceous powders in the concrete composition. Carbon black was selected as a carbon powder for addition in concrete composition. Carbon black is a nanomaterial with disoriented structure of particles (average size is about 50 nm. The composition of the carbon black contains at least 90 wt.% amorphous carbon, more than 5 wt. % chemisorbed oxygen and about 4 wt.% of impurities. Materials with the addition of carbon black have electrical conductivity due to the high content of carbon. These materials are able to absorb electromagnetic radiation. For cement composition with addition of carbon black (more than 30 wt. % and water transmission coefficient of electromagnetic radiation is about –10 dB, for cement composition with 20 wt. % of carbon black the reflection coefficient is –8 dB in the frequency range 8–12 GHz. The concretes with a saturated aqueous solution of calcium chloride and 10% of carbon black possess minimal reflection coefficient (–14... –8 dB. Electromagnetic radiation shielding of concrete with the addition of sawdust was investigated. The concrete with sawdust (40 wt. % impregnated with an aqueous solution with carbon black has the reflection coefficient less than –8 dB and transmission coefficient –40 dB in the frequency range 8–12 GHz. These concretes can be used for creation of a shielded room with the technical equipment for information processing to prevent data leakage through the compromising emanations and crosstalk.

  10. Comet Halley Returns. A Teacher's Guide, 1985-1986. (United States)

    Chapman, Robert D.; Bondurant, R. Lynn, Jr.

    This booklet was designed as an aid for elementary and secondary school teachers. It is divided into two distinct parts. Part I is a brief tutorial which introduces some of the most important concepts about comets. Areas addressed include: the historical importance of Comet Halley; how comets are found and names; cometary orbits; what Comet Halley…

  11. The Comet Halley Handbook: An Observer's Guide. Second Edition. (United States)

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    This handbook contains information on: (1) the orbit of comet Halley; (2) the expected physical behavior of comet Halley in 1985-1986, considering brightness estimates, coma diameters, and tail lengths; (3) observing conditions for comet Halley in 1985-1986; and (4) observing conditions for the dust tail of comet Halley in 1985-1986. Additional…

  12. Scaling analysis of meteorite shower mass distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oddershede, Lene; Meibom, A.; Bohr, Jakob


    Meteorite showers are the remains of extraterrestrial objects which are captivated by the gravitational field of the Earth. We have analyzed the mass distribution of fragments from 16 meteorite showers for scaling. The distributions exhibit distinct scaling behavior over several orders of magnetude......; the observed scaling exponents vary from shower to shower. Half of the analyzed showers show a single scaling region while the orther half show multiple scaling regimes. Such an analysis can provide knowledge about the fragmentation process and about the original meteoroid. We also suggest to compare...... the observed scaling exponents to exponents observed in laboratory experiments and discuss the possibility that one can derive insight into the original shapes of the meteoroids....

  13. Featured Image: Diamonds in a Meteorite (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    This unique image which measures only 60 x 80 micrometers across reveals details in the Kapoeta meteorite, an 11-kg stone that fell in South Sudan in 1942. The sparkle in the image? A cluster of nanodiamonds discovered embedded in the stone in a recent study led by Yassir Abdu (University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates). Abdu and collaborators showed that these nanodiamonds have similar spectral features to the interiors of dense interstellar clouds and they dont show any signs of shock features. This may suggest that the nanodiamonds were formed by condensation of nebular gases early in the history of the solar system. The diamonds were trapped in the surface material of the Kapoeta meteorites parent body, thought to be the asteroid Vesta. To read more about the authors study, check out the original article below.CitationYassir A. Abdu et al 2018 ApJL 856 L9. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aab433


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David, E-mail: [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)


    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived “small body” populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (∼10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population.

  15. Moessbauer spectroscopy of the Soledade meteorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paduani, Clederson; Peres, Carlos Ariel Samudio


    Full text: Since the early studies of the microstructure and chemical composition of meteorites the formation of magnetic phases have attracted the attention of metallurgists. Mostly metallic specimens presented high contents of nickel and iron as major constituents, and thus the Fe-Ni alloys formed under such special conditions have been the subject of several investigations with a variety of experimental techniques. This is not an easy task considering the weathering process and the distribution of oxides in the metallic matrix, which in some cases varies in composition from one region to another. In this work we applied the Moessbauer spectroscopy to study the iron-bearing phases detected in the meteorite called Soledade. Although no one knows precisely who and when this specimen was found, it received the name of the locality from where it proceeded near the city of Passo Fundo in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. The first studies indicate that this metallic meteorite is an octahedrite, with polycrystalline troilite, cohenite, schreibersite and rhabdites as major constituents. It consists of a solid block weighing 68 kg, with an irregular form measuring about 36x22x16 cm. (author)

  16. Analyses of Rumanová meteorite (United States)

    Lipka, J.; Sitek, J.; Dekan, J.; Sedlačková, K.


    Mössbauer spectroscopy was used as an analytical tool in investigation of iron containing compounds of Rumanová meteorite found on Slovak territory and it was classified as chondrite H. The results showed that the Mössbauer spectra consist of magnetic and non-magnetic components related to different iron-bearing phases. In non-magnetic part, olivine, pyroxene, and traces of Fe3 + phases have been identified. The magnetically ordered part of the Rumanová meteorite spectrum consists of kamacite, troilite and the third additional component corresponds to hydroxides originating from weathering due to being long time on the Earth surface. The weathering products can be recognised mainly as maghemite, however traces of other weathering components as akagaenite, goethite and magnetite cannot be excluded. On the contrary to Rumanová, no weathering products have been found in the sample of Košice meteorite which fell on the territory of Slovakia in February 2010 and has been investigated a few months after the fall.

  17. De Magnete et Meteorite: Cosmically Motivated Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, LH; Pinkerton, FE; Bordeaux, N; Mubarok, A; Poirier, E; Goldstein, JI; Skomski, R; Barmak, K


    Meteorites, likely the oldest source of magnetic material known to mankind, are attracting renewed interest in the science and engineering community. Worldwide focus is on tetrataenite, a uniaxial ferromagnetic compound with the tetragonal L1(0) crystal structure comprised of nominally equiatomic Fe-Ni that is found naturally in meteorites subjected to extraordinarily slow cooling rates, as low as 0.3 K per million years. Here, the favorable permanent magnetic properties of bulk tetrataenite derived from the meteorite NWA 6259 are quantified. The measured magnetization approaches that of Nd-Fe-B (1.42 T) and is coupled with substantial anisotropy (1.0-1.3 MJ/m(3)) that implies the prospect for realization of technologically useful coercivity. A highly robust temperature dependence of the technical magnetic properties at an elevated temperature (20-200 degrees C) is confirmed, with a measured temperature coefficient of coercivity of -0.005%/ K, over one hundred times smaller than that of Nd-Fe-B in the same temperature range. These results quantify the extrinsic magnetic behavior of chemically ordered tetrataenite and are technologically and industrially significant in the current context of global supply chain limitations of rare-earth metals required for present-day high-performance permanent magnets that enable operation of a myriad of advanced devices and machines.

  18. Studies on Al Kidirate and Kapoeta meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gismelseed, A.M.; Khangi, F.; Ibrahim, A.; Yousif, A.A.; Worthing, M.A.; Rais, A.; Elzain, M.E.; Brooks, C.K.; Sutherland, H.H.


    Moessbauer spectroscopy (20-300 K), magnetic susceptibility measurements (77-350 K), scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction experiments have been performed on two meteorite samples: one from an old fall (Kapoeta) and another from a very recent fall (Al Kidirate). The two specimens differ in their mineralogy. Chondrules appear to be absent in Kapoeta and it is probably a pyroxene-plagioclase achondrite with ferrohypersthene as the most abundant mineral. On the other hand, the Al Kidirate meteorite is an ordinary chondrite and the specimen consists of olivine, orthopyroxene, troilite and kamacite. The Moessbauer measurements confirm the above characterization, showing a paramagnetic doublet for the Kapoeta sample and at least two paramagnetic doublets and magnetic sextets for the Al Kidirate specimens. The former were assigned to Fe in pyroxene sites, while the latter was assigned to Fe in pyroxene, olivine, Fe-S and Fe-Ni alloys. The difference in the mineralogy of the two meteorites has also been reflected in the temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility. The magnetization and the hyperfine interaction parameters will be discussed in relation to the mineralogy. (orig.)

  19. Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites

    CERN Document Server

    Norton, O. Richard


    Imagine the unique experience of being the very first person to hold a newly-found meteorite in your hand – a rock from space, older than Earth! "Weekend meteorite hunting" with magnets and metal detectors is becoming ever more popular as a pastime, but of course you can’t just walk around and pick up meteorites in the same way that you can pick up seashells on the beach. Those fragments that survived the intense heat of re-entry tend to disguise themselves as natural rocks over time, and it takes a trained eye – along with the information in this book – to recognize them. Just as amateur astronomers are familiar with the telescopes and accessories needed to study a celestial object, amateur meteoriticists have to use equipment ranging from simple hand lenses to microscopes to study a specimen, to identify its type and origins. Equipment and techniques are covered in detail here of course, along with a complete and fully illustrated guide to what you might find and where you might find it. In fact, th...

  20. Cosmic-ray exposure records and origins of meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.C.


    The cosmic-ray records of meteorites are used to infer much about their origins and recent histories. The methods used to interpret meteorites cosmic-ray records, especially identifying simple or complex exposure histories, often are inadequate. Spallogenic radionuclides, stable nuclides, and measurements of products that have location-sensitive production rates, such as the tracks of heavy cosmic-ray nuclei or neutron-capture nuclides, are very useful in accurately determining a meteorite's history. Samples from different, known locations of a meteorite help in studying the cosmic-ray record. Such extensive sets of meteorite measuremetns, plus theoretical modeling of complex histories, improves the ability to predict the production of cosmogenic nuclides in meteorites, to distinguish simple and complex exposure histories, and to better determine exposure ages

  1. Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program - Space Rocks for Classrooms, Museums, Science Centers, and Libraries (United States)

    Allen, Jaclyn; Luckey, M.; McInturff, B.; Huynh, P.; Tobola, K.; Loftin, L.


    violent impact history of the Moon. The disks also include two regolith soils and orange glass from a pyroclastic deposit. Each Meteorite Disk contains two ordinary chondrites, one carbonaceous chondrite, one iron, one stony iron, and one achondrite. These samples will help educators share the early history of the solar system with students and the public. Educators may borrow either lunar or meteorite disks and the accompanying education materials through the Johnson Space Center Curatorial Office. In trainings provided by the NASA Aerospace Education Services Program specialists, educators certified to borrow the disk learn about education resources, the proper use of the samples, and the special security for care and shipping of the disks. The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program will take NASA exploration to more people. Getting Space Rocks out to the public and inspiring the public about new space exploration is the focus of the NASA disk loan program.

  2. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan


    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  3. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets (United States)

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.


    Since the detection of absorption features in spectra of beta Pictoris varying on short time scales it is known that comets exist in other stellar systems. We investigate the dynamics of comets in two differently build systems (HD 10180 and HIP 14810). The outcomes of the scattering process, as there are collisions with the planets, captures and ejections from the systems are analysed statistically. Collisions and close encounters with the planets are investigated in more detail in order to conclude about transport of water and organic material. We will also investigate the possibility of detection of comets in other planetary systems.

  4. The spacecraft encounters of Comet Halley (United States)

    Asoka Mendis, D.; Tsurutani, Bruce T.


    The characteristics of the Comet Halley spacecraft 'fleet' (VEGA 1 and VEGA 2, Giotto, Suisei, and Sakigake) are presented. The major aims of these missions were (1) to discover and characterize the nucleus, (2) to characterize the atmosphere and ionosphere, (3) to characterize the dust, and (4) to characterize the nature of the large-scale comet-solar wind interaction. While the VEGA and Giotto missions were designed to study all four areas, Suisei addressed the second and fourth. Sakigake was designed to study the solar wind conditions upstream of the comet. It is noted that NASA's Deep Space Network played an important role in spacecraft tracking.

  5. Improved process for heating finely divided carbonaceous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    A process for heating finely divided carbonaceous particles by burning a proportion of the carbon consists of passing the carbonaceous material at a temperature above 800/sup 0/F into an upwardly disposed, slender, combustion zone, suspending the particles in an upwardly-moving gas containing free oxygen so that the suspension has a density from 0.1 to 5.0 lb/cu. ft., passing the suspension upwardly through the combustion zone at a velocity of from 5 to 100 ft./sec., and injecting at least one stream of a second gas containing free oxygen at a point in the combustion zone such that at least 50% of the oxygen in the first gas has been consumed by the time the suspension reaches this point. The total quantity of oxygen is chosen so that the finely divided carbonaceous material is heated to a temperature of not less than 1,050/sup 0/F.

  6. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Lauvas, Anna Jacobsen; Christensen, Preben


    Background: Semen quality parameters are potentially affected by nanomaterials in several ways: Inhaled nanosized particles are potent inducers of pulmonary inflammation, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Small amounts of particles may translocate from the lungs into the lung...... inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.Methods: Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous...... nanomaterials were investigated by intratracheally instilling sexually mature male NMRI mice with four different carbonaceous nanomaterials dispersed in nanopure water: graphene oxide (18 mu g/mouse/i.t.), Flammruss 101, Printex 90 and SRM1650b (0.1 mg/mouse/i.t. each) weekly for seven consecutive weeks...

  7. A New Orbit for Comet C/1865 B1 (Great Southern Comet of 1865) (United States)

    Branham, Richard L., Jr.


    Comet C/1865 B1 (Great southern comet of 1865), observed only in the southern hemisphere, is one of a large number of comets with parabolic orbits. Given that there are 202 observations in right ascension and 165 in declination it proves possible to calculate a better orbit than that Körber published in 1887, the orbit used in various catalogs and data bases. C/1865 B1's orbit is hyperbolic and statistically distinguishable from a parabola. This object, therefore, cannot be considered an NEO. The comet has a small perihelion distance of 0.026 AU.

  8. Isotopic Dichotomy among Meteorites and Its Bearing on the Protoplanetary Disk (United States)

    Scott, Edward R. D.; Krot, Alexander N.; Sanders, Ian S.


    Whole rock Δ17O and nucleosynthetic isotopic variations for chromium, titanium, nickel, and molybdenum in meteorites define two isotopically distinct populations: carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) and some achondrites, pallasites, and irons in one and all other chondrites and differentiated meteorites in the other. Since differentiated bodies accreted 1–3 Myr before the chondrites, the isotopic dichotomy cannot be attributed to temporal variations in the disk. Instead, the two populations were most likely separated in space, plausibly by proto-Jupiter. Formation of CCs outside Jupiter could account for their characteristic chemical and isotopic composition. The abundance of refractory inclusions in CCs can be explained if they were ejected by disk winds from near the Sun to the disk periphery where they spiraled inward due to gas drag. Once proto-Jupiter reached 10–20 M ⊕, its external pressure bump could have prevented millimeter- and centimeter-sized particles from reaching the inner disk. This scenario would account for the enrichment in CCs of refractory inclusions, refractory elements, and water. Chondrules in CCs show wide ranges in Δ17O as they formed in the presence of abundant 16O-rich refractory grains and 16O-poor ice particles. Chondrules in other chondrites (ordinary, E, R, and K groups) show relatively uniform, near-zero Δ17O values as refractory inclusions and ice were much less abundant in the inner solar system. The two populations were plausibly mixed together by the Grand Tack when Jupiter and Saturn migrated inward emptying and then repopulating the asteroid belt with roughly equal masses of planetesimals from inside and outside Jupiter’s orbit (S- and C-type asteroids).

  9. Element Abundances in Meteorites and the Earth: Implication for the Accretion of Planetary Bodies (United States)

    Mezger, K.; Vollstaedt, H.; Maltese, A.


    Essentially all known inner solar system materials show near chondritic relative abundances of refractory elements and depletion in volatile elements. To a first approximation volatile element depletion correlates with the respective condensation temperature (TC) of the elements. Possible mechanisms for this depletion are incomplete condensation and partial loss by evaporation caused by heating prior to or during the planetesimal accretion. The stable isotope compositions of almost all moderately volatile elements in different meteorite classes show only minor, or no evidence for a Rayleigh-type fractionation that could be attributed to partial condensation or evaporation. The different classes of meteorites also show that the degree of depletion in their parent bodies (i.e. mostly planetesimals) is quite variable, but nevertheless systematic. For primitive and least disturbed carbonaceous chondrites the element depletion pattern is a smooth function of TC. The accessible silicate Earth also shows this general depletion pattern, but in detail it is highly complex and requires differentiation processes that are not solely controlled by TC. If only highly lithophile elements are considered the depletion pattern of the silicate Earth reveals a step function that shows that moderately volatile lithophile elements have abundances that are ca. 0.1 times the chondritic value, irrespective of their TC. This element pattern observed for bulk silicate Earth can be modelled as a mixture of two distinct components: ca. 90% of a strongly reduced planetary body that is depleted in highly volatile elements and ca. 10% of a more volatile element rich and oxidized component. This mixture can account for the apparent Pb- paradox observed in melts derived from the silicate Earth and provides a time constraint for the mixing event, which is ca. 70 My after the beginning of the solar system. This event corresponds to the giant impact that also formed the Moon.

  10. Particle Size Distributions in Chondritic Meteorites: Evidence for Pre-Planetesimal Histories (United States)

    Simon, J. I.; Cuzzi, J. N.; McCain, K. A.; Cato, M. J.; Christoffersen, P. A.; Fisher, K. R.; Srinivasan, P.; Tait, A. W.; Olson, D. M.; Scargle, J. D.


    Magnesium-rich silicate chondrules and calcium-, aluminum-rich refractory inclusions (CAIs) are fundamental components of primitive chondritic meteorites. It has been suggested that concentration of these early-formed particles by nebular sorting processes may lead to accretion of planetesimals, the planetary bodies that represent the building blocks of the terrestrial planets. In this case, the size distributions of the particles may constrain the accretion process. Here we present new particle size distribution data for Northwest Africa 5717, a primitive ordinary chondrite (ungrouped 3.05) and the well-known carbonaceous chondrite Allende (CV3). Instead of the relatively narrow size distributions obtained in previous studies (Ebel et al., 2016; Friedrich et al., 2015; Paque and Cuzzi, 1997, and references therein), we observed broad size distributions for all particle types in both meteorites. Detailed microscopic image analysis of Allende shows differences in the size distributions of chondrule subtypes, but collectively these subpopulations comprise a composite "chondrule" size distribution that is similar to the broad size distribution found for CAIs. Also, we find accretionary 'dust' rims on only a subset (approximately 15-20 percent) of the chondrules contained in Allende, which indicates that subpopulations of chondrules experienced distinct histories prior to planetary accretion. For the rimmed subset, we find positive correlation between rim thickness and chondrule size. The remarkable similarity between the size distributions of various subgroups of particles, both with and without fine grained rims, implies a common size sorting process. Chondrite classification schemes, astrophysical disk models that predict a narrow chondrule size population and/or a common localized formation event, and conventional particle analysis methods must all be critically reevaluated. We support the idea that distinct "lithologies" in NWA 5717 are nebular aggregates of

  11. Scientists Revise Thinking on Comets, Planet Jupiter (United States)

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1974


    Discusses scientific information obtained from Pioneer 10's Jupiter flyby and the comet Kohoutek's first trip around the sun, including the high hydrogen emission of Jupiter's principal moon, Io. (CC)

  12. Comet C/2004 P1 (NEAT)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Kušnirák, Peter

    -, č. 8383 (2004), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : new comet * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  13. Comet P/2004 F3 (NEAT)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Kušnirák, Peter

    -, č. 8313 (2004), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  14. Quenched carbonaceous composite (QCC): a likely candidate for interstellar grains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakata, A.; Wada, S.; Tanabe, T.; Onaka, T.


    The authors have recently reported that a carbonaceous composite synthesized from a hydrocarbon plasma shows an extinction property quite resembling the observed average interstellar extinction curve around the 220 nm hump. This composite is synthesized by quenching the excited gas ejecting from a plasma of methane gas, so it is called 'quenched carbonaceous composite' or 'QCC'. A recent study of QCC in the infrared region has shown that QCC can also account for some of the unidentified bands in the infrared region detected in several celestial objects. These results suggest that most of the pronounced features of the interstellar grains originate from substances whose major constituent is carbon. (author)

  15. Carbonaceous aerosols from prescribed burning of a boreal forest ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazurek, M.A.; Cofer, W.R. III; Levine, J.S.


    Smoke aerosol and background aerosol particles were collected from the controlled burning of boreal forest where vegetation species and relative mass distributions are known. Chemical mass balances were constructed for the total mass of carbonaceous aerosol particles emitted during the prescribed burn. In addition, a carbonaceous species inventory was developed for aerosol particles presnt under background, smoldering, and full-fire conditions; the production of organic carbon and elemental carbon particles is noted for these two fire regimes. Distributions of the solvent-soluble organic components of the sampled aerosols were generated to identify molecular properties that can be traced to unburned and pyrolyzed materials present in the boreal forest fuels

  16. PIXE and light element analysis (C,N) in glass inclusions trapped in meteorites with the nuclear microprobe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varela, M.E.; Mosbah, M.; Metrich, N.; Duraud, J.P.; Kurat, G.


    Proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and light element analysis have been performed with the nuclear microprobe at the Laboratoire Pierre Suee (Saclay-France) in glass inclusions of the carbonaceous chondrites: Allende, Kaba and Renazzo, and in the achondrite meteorite: Chassigny. Carbon contents in olivine of chondrules are below the nuclear reactions analysis (NRA) detection limit, however, glasses from glass inclusions hosted by these grains, contain an appreciable and highly variable quantities of carbon (200-1600 ppm). This could indicate variable amounts of C trapped during glass inclusion formation. On the other hand, nitrogen is present in highly variable amounts in glasses of both, chondrites and achondrites minerals. Its abundance, correlated with depth from the section surface which suggests loss of N during analyses and therefore the possible existence of a very mobile (volatile?) species. A chondritic Rb/Sr and K/Rb ratio obtained by PIXE analyses in the glass-bearing inclusions of the Chassigny meteorite points towards a primitive source for the glass precursor of Chassigny inclusions

  17. Searching for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids in a Contaminated Meteorite: Amino Acid Analyses of the Canakkale L6 Chondrite (United States)

    Burton, A. S.; Elsila, J. E.; Glavin, D. P.; Dworkin, J. P.; Ornek, C. Y.; Esenoglu, H. H.; Unsalan, O.; Ozturk, B.


    Amino acids can serve as important markers of cosmochemistry, as their abundances and isomeric and isotopic compositions have been found to vary predictably with changes in parent body chemistry and alteration processes. Amino acids are also of astrobiological interest because they are essential for life on Earth. Analyses of a range of meteorites, including all groups of carbonaceous chondrites, along with H, R, and LL chondrites, ureilites, and a martian shergottite, have revealed that amino acids of plausible extraterrestrial origin can be formed in and persist after a wide range of parent body conditions. However, amino acid analyses of L6 chondrites to date have not provided evidence for indigenous amino acids. In the present study, we performed amino acid analysis on larger samples of a different L6 chondite, Canakkale, to determine whether or not trace levels of indigenous amino acids could be found. The Canakkale meteor was an observed fall in late July, 1964, near Canakkale, Turkey. The meteorite samples (1.36 and 1.09 g) analyzed in this study were allocated by C. Y. Ornek, along with a soil sample (1.5 g) collected near the Canakkale recovery site.

  18. X-ray emission from comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dennerl, Konrad


    When comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) encountered Earth in March 1996 at a minimum distance of only 15 million kilometers (40 times the distance of the moon), x-ray and extreme ultraviolet emission was discovered for the first time from a comet. The observations were performed with the astronomy satellites ROSAT and EUVE. A systematic search for x-rays from comets in archival data, obtained during the ROSAT all-sky survey in 1990/91, resulted in the discovery of x-ray emission from four additional comets. They were detected at seven occasions in total, when they were optically 300 to 30 000 times fainter than Hyakutake. These findings indicated that comets represent a new class of celestial x-ray sources. Subsequent detections of x-ray emission from additional comets with the satellites ROSAT, EUVE, and BeppoSAX confirmed this conclusion. The x-ray observations have obviously revealed the presence of a process in comets which had escaped attention until recently. This process is most likely charge exchange between highly charged heavy ions in the solar wind and cometary neutrals. The solar wind, a stream of particles continuously emitted from the sun with ≅ 400 km s -1 , consists predominantly of protons, electrons, and alpha particles, but contains also a small fraction (≅0.1%) of highly charged heavier ions, such as C 6+ ,O 6+ ,Ne 8+ ,Si 9+ ,Fe 11+ . When these ions capture electrons from the cometary gas, they attain highly excited states and radiate a large fraction of their excitation energy in the extreme ultraviolet and x-ray part of the spectrum. Charge exchange reproduces the intensity, the morphology and the spectrum of the observed x-ray emission from comets very well

  19. Comet Halley - Chapter I in cometary exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.


    The information gained on the Comet Halley by the international probe studies is presented. The new information includes data on the true size and shape of the cometary nucleus and the mass of its dust grains, the chemical composition of the nucleus, and the characteristics of the bow wave of the comet. The requirements of future missions for solving the many questions that are still open are discussed

  20. Discovery of moganite in a lunar meteorite as a trace of H2O ice in the Moon’s regolith (United States)

    Seto, Yusuke; Miyake, Akira; Sekine, Toshimori; Tomeoka, Kazushige; Matsumoto, Megumi; Kobayashi, Takamichi


    Moganite, a monoclinic SiO2 phase, has been discovered in a lunar meteorite. Silica micrograins occur as nanocrystalline aggregates of mostly moganite and occasionally coesite and stishovite in the KREEP (high potassium, rare-earth element, and phosphorus)–like gabbroic-basaltic breccia NWA 2727, although these grains are seemingly absent in other lunar meteorites. We interpret the origin of these grains as follows: alkaline water delivery to the Moon via carbonaceous chondrite collisions, fluid capture during impact-induced brecciation, moganite precipitation from the captured H2O at pH 9.5 to 10.5 and 363 to 399 K on the sunlit surface, and meteorite launch from the Moon caused by an impact at 8 to 22 GPa and >673 K. On the subsurface, this captured H2O may still remain as ice at estimated bulk content of >0.6 weight %. This indicates the possibility of the presence of abundant available water resources underneath local sites of the host bodies within the Procellarum KREEP and South Pole Aitken terranes. PMID:29732406

  1. Comet showers and the steady-state infall of comets from the Oort cloud

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.


    The appearance of an inner edge to the Oort comet cloud at a semimajor axis of a = (1--2) x 10 4 AU is an observational artifact. Stellar perturbations are frequent enough and strong enough to assure that a constant fraction of the comets with semimajor axes greater than this are in orbits which bring them within the planetary region. Only infrequent, close stellar encounters are able to repopulate the planet-crossing orbits of comets with smaller semimajor axes. Owing to their relatively short orbital periods which return them frequently to the planetary system, the comets in these more tightly bound orbits will be deflected by Jupiter into drastically different orbits or be destroyed by solar heating before another close stellar passage repopulates their numbers. Comets with semimajor axes less than 2 x 10 4 AU appear in the inner solar system only in intense bursts or showers which last for a few orbital periods after the close passage of a star to the Sun. This is followed by a much longer span of time during which only comets with a>2 x 10 4 AU enter the planetary system. The theoretically determined location of the boundary between the semimajor axes of those comets which enter the planetary system only in bursts or showers and those which arrive in a steady stream is very abrupt and falls at the observed inner edge of the Oort cloud. We propose that the comets formed in the outer parts of the collapsing protosun, which had a radius of less than 5 x 10 3 AU. If this produced a first-generation comet cloud with a radius of 10 3 AU or greater, the coupled dynamical perturbations of passing stars and Jupiter will, of necessity, lead to the formation of a comet cloud similar that of the observed Oort comet cloud

  2. Identifying the source of a strong fullerene envelope arising from laser desorption mass spectrometric analysis of meteoritic insoluble organic matter (United States)

    Hammond, Matthew R.; Zare, Richard N.


    Insoluble organic matter (IOM) has been obtained from two carbonaceous chondrite meteorites and subjected to analysis by laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) using standard operating conditions that were optimized for fullerene detection (3-6 μJ pulses at 337 nm focused to a spot size of approximately 100 μm in diameter). The preparation process yields no free C 60 in the IOM, and other experiments suggest that this material does not contain appreciable amounts of fullerenes. Nevertheless, a pronounced high-mass envelope is observed in LDMS, extending from 720 amu to about 4000 amu, with peaks spaced apart every 24 amu (corresponding to the gain or loss of C 2 units). We attribute this high-mass envelope to the existence of various fullerene molecules. The present work demonstrates that these fullerene molecules are created by the laser desorption laser ionization process under typical laser conditions used for studying free fullerenes in organic solvent extracts of natural samples (toluene and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene). The implications of this false positive detection of fullerene molecules on the reports of fullerenes in other meteoritic samples have been investigated by introducing IOM into typical fullerene extraction procedures and examining the LDMS results. We found that IOM is capable of producing false positive signals in these experiments. The effect of ambient laboratory contamination producing fullerene signals is also described. It is found that extensive centrifugation of the meteoritic extracts is able to reduce the observed fullerene envelope, which points to an association of this envelope with IOM particulates that have passed through the filtering steps. We suggest the exercise of extreme caution in interpreting fullerene data from LDMS experiments.

  3. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul


    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  4. Aqueous Alteration of Carbonaceous Chondrites: New Insights from Comparative Studies of Two Unbrecciated CM2 Chondrites, Y 791198 and ALH 81002 (United States)

    Chizmadia, L. J.; Brearley, A. J.


    Carbonaceous chondrites are an important resource for understanding the physical and chemical conditions in the early solar system. In particular, a long-standing question concerns the role of water in the cosmochemical evolution of carbonaceous chondrites. It is well established that extensive hydration of primary nebular phases occurred in the CM and CI chondrites, but the location where this alteration occurred remains controversial. In the CM2 chondrites, hydration formed secondary phases such as serpentine, tochilinite, pentlandite, carbonate and PCP. There are several textural observations which suggest that alteration occurred before the accretion of the final CM parent asteroid, i.e. preaccretionary alteration. Conversely, there is a significant body of evidence that supports parent-body alteration. In order to test these two competing hypotheses further, we studied two CM chondrites, Y-791198 and ALH81002, two meteorites that exhibit widely differing degrees of aqueous alteration. In addition, both meteorites have primary accretionary textures, i.e. experienced minimal asteroidal brecciation. Brecciation significantly complicates the task of unraveling alteration histories, mixing components that have been altered to different degrees from different locations on the same asteroidal parent body. Alteration in Y-791198 is mostly confined to chondrule mesostases, FeNi metal and fine-grained matrix and rims. In comparison, the primary chondrule silicates in ALH81002 have undergone extensive replacement by secondary hydrous phases. This study focuses on compositional and textural relationships between chondrule mesostasis and the associated rim materials. Our hypothesis is: both these components are highly susceptible to aqueous alteration and should be sensitive recorders of the alteration process. For parent body alteration, we expect systematic coupled mineralogical and compositional changes in rims and altered mesostasis, as elemental exchange between these

  5. Isotopic diversity in nebular dust: The distribution of Ti isotopic anomalies in carbonaceous chondrites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niemeyer, S.


    Average Ti isotopic patterns are derived for each class of carbonaceous chondrite from a chemically characterized suite of whole-rock samples. There is a well-resolved excess of 50 Ti in a subset of CI meteorites. Mean values of the 50 Ti excess for the four classes span a range of only 2 ε-units, with an apparent positive correlation with Al content. Previous evidence for anomalies in chondrules is augmented here by demonstrating that: (1) the more pristine Ca-Al-rich inclusions (CAIs) in Efremovka show the same isotopic pattern as the typical Allende CAI; and, (2) CM and CV matrix carry 50 Ti excesses of about 2 ε-units. The distribution of Ti isotopic anomalies among matrix, chondrules, and CAIs suggests a model in which all three constituents formed from precursor-assemblages in which some chemical memories were still intact; the isotopic differences reflect fractionations among the carrier phases of the different isotopic components. Chondrules formed by a mostly closed-system melting of their precursors, and thus provide a recording of the extent of nebular heterogeneity on the mg-size scale. The larger anomalies in CAIs, compared to matrix and most (but not all) chondrules, are attributed primarily to an open- rather than closed-system processing of the CAI precursors. Precursors of both FUN and normal CAIs experienced an episode of intense processing, perhaps partial melting, that created the FUN characteristics, but for normal CAIs the FUN effects were erased by subsequent isotopic equilibration and exchange

  6. Detection of serpentine in exogenic carbonaceous chondrite material on Vesta from Dawn FC data (United States)

    Nathues, Andreas; Hoffmann, Martin; Cloutis, Edward A.; Schäfer, Michael; Reddy, Vishnu; Christensen, Ulrich; Sierks, Holger; Thangjam, Guneshwar Singh; Le Corre, Lucille; Mengel, Kurt; Vincent, Jean-Baptist; Russell, Christopher T.; Prettyman, Tom; Schmedemann, Nico; Kneissl, Thomas; Raymond, Carol; Gutierrez-Marques, Pablo; Hall, Ian; Büttner, Irene


    The Dawn mission’s Framing Camera (FC) observed Asteroid (4) Vesta in 2011 and 2012 using seven color filters and one clear filter from different orbits. In the present paper we analyze recalibrated HAMO color cubes (spatial resolution ∼60 m/pixel) with a focus on dark material (DM). We present a definition of highly concentrated DM based on spectral parameters, subsequently map the DM across the Vestan surface, geologically classify DM, study its spectral properties on global and local scales, and finally, compare the FC in-flight color data with laboratory spectra. We have discovered an absorption band centered at 0.72 μm in localities of DM that show the lowest albedo values by using FC data as well as spectral information from Dawn’s imaging spectrometer VIR. Such localities are contained within impact-exposed outcrops on inner crater walls and ejecta material. Comparisons between spectral FC in-flight data, and laboratory spectra of meteorites and mineral mixtures in the wavelength range 0.4-1.0 μm, revealed that the absorption band can be attributed to the mineral serpentine, which is typically present in CM chondrites. Dark material in its purest form is rare on Vesta’s surface and is distributed globally in a non-uniform manner. Our findings confirm the hypothesis of an exogenic origin of the DM by the infall of carbonaceous chondritic material, likely of CM type. It further confirms the hypothesis that most of the DM was deposited by the Veneneia impact.

  7. The enrichment of the ISM: Evolved stars and meteorites (United States)

    Jura, M.


    Small inclusions (diameters ranging from 0.001 microns to 10 microns) of isotopically anomalous material within meteorites were almost certainly produced in mass-losing stars. These solid particles preserved their individual identities as they passed through the interstellar medium and the pre-solar nebular. The relationship between studies of meteorites and mass-losing red giants is explored.

  8. An Anomalous Basaltic Meteorite from the Innermost Main Belt

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Towner, M.C.; Bevan, A.W.R.; Singleton, A.T.; Bottke jr., W.F.; Greenwood, R.C.; Chesley, S.R.; Shrbený, Lukáš; Borovička, Jiří; Ceplecha, Zdeněk; McClafferty, T.; Vaughan, D.; Benedix, G.K.; Deacon, G.; Howard, K.T.; Franchi, I.A.; Hough, R.M.


    Roč. 325, č. 5947 (2009), s. 1525-1527 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/0411 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : meteorites * meteorite fall Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 29.747, year: 2009

  9. Inaugeral lecture - Meteorite impacts on Earth and on the Earth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is some controversial evidence for the theory that the first life on Earth itself may have been transported here on meteorites from Mars. The possibility of a major meteorite impact on Earth in the near future emphasizes the dramatic nature of these recent discoveries, which are having deep impacts in the Earth sciences ...

  10. Meteorite Falls Observed by the Desert Fireball Network: An Update

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Shrbený, Lukáš; Towner, M.C.; Bevan, A.W.R.; Borovička, Jiří; McClafferty, T.; Vaughan, D.


    Roč. 45, Supplement (2010), A16-A16 ISSN 1086-9379. [Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society /73./. 26.07.2010-30.07.2010, New York] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : meteorite falls Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  11. Modeling and analytical simulation of a smouldering carbonaceous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modeling and analytical simulation of a smouldering carbonaceous rod. A.A. Mohammed, R.O. Olayiwola, M Eseyin, A.A. Wachin. Abstract. Modeling of pyrolysis and combustion in a smouldering fuel bed requires the solution of flow, heat and mass transfer through porous media. This paper presents an analytical method ...

  12. Preg-robbing of Gold by Carbonaceous Materials Encountered in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Processing of gold from refractory ores containing carbonaceous materials (CM) poses challenges due to the ability of the CM to preg-rob dissolved gold. Depending on the type and maturity of CM encountered, preg-robbing of aurocyanide ion can lead to reduction in gold recovery ranging from a few percentages to more ...

  13. Fungal-Transformation of Surrogate Sulphides and Carbonaceous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the recovery of gold from refractory gold ores, pretreatment is required to decompose sulphides and liberate occluded gold before cyanidation, and to deactivate carbonaceous matter and prevent it from adsorbing dissolved gold. Until the past three decades, most commercial pretreatment processes had been by abiotic ...

  14. Reasonable threshold value used to segment the individual comet from the comet assay image

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Xuekun; Chen Ying; Du Jie; Zhang Xueqing; Luo Yisheng


    Reasonable segmentation of the individual comet contour from the Comet Assay (CA) images is the precondition for all of parameters analysis during the automatic analyzing for the CA. The Otsu method and several arithmetic operators for image segmentation, such as Sobel, Prewitt, Roberts and Canny were used to segment the comet contour, and characters of the CA images were analyzed firstly. And then the segmentation methods which had been adopted in the software for CA automatic analysis, such as the CASP, the TriTek CometScore TM , were put for-ward and compared. At last, a two-step procedure for threshold calculation based on image-content analysis is adopted to segment the individual comet from the CA images, and several principles for the segmentation are put forward too.(authors)

  15. The McDonald Observatory Faint Comet Survey - Gas production in 17 comets (United States)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Barker, Edwin S.; Ramseyer, Tod F.; Storrs, Alex D.


    The complete Intensified Dissector Scanner data set on 17 comets is presented, and production rates are derived and analyzed. It is shown that there is a strong degree of homogenization in the production rate ratios of many comets. It also appears that the ratio of the production rates of the various species has no heliocentric distance dependence, except for the case of NH2. When speaking of the gas in the coma of a comet, it appears that comets must have been formed under remarkably uniform conditions, and that they must have evolved and formed their comae in a similar manner. The data presented here constitute strong evidence that the minor species must be bound up in a lattice and that the interior of a comet must be reasonably uniform.

  16. Particle acceleration near Halley's comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somogyi, Antal


    Vega and Giotto space probes observed energetic ions of cometary origin near Halley's comet. The water molecules evaporating from the cometary nucleus were ionized by the solar UV radiation. These 'standing' ions were accelerated from 1 km/s to a few 1000 km/s. Present paper analyses the possible mechanisms of acceleration based on the data of TUENDE detector (constructed by CRIP, Hungary) working on board of Vega probes. The basic mechanism is the ExB Lorentz acceleration by interplanetary magnetic field and electric field induced by magnetic field frozen into solar wind plasma. It is followed by an acceleration caused by the adiabatic compression of the plasma at shock wave front. These processes can not explain the observed velocity of ions. It is shown that the second order Fermi acceleration which dissipates the ion distribution in the velocity space can lead to the observed velocities. The circumstances required to the occurrence of this process are present at the cometary environment. (D.G.) 2 figs

  17. Spectrophotometry of 25 comets - Post-Halley updates for 17 comets plus new observations for eight additional comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.; Spinrad, H.


    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986. 61 references

  18. Condensation time of the solar nebula from extinct I-129 in primitive meteorites (United States)

    Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.


    Mineral separates from five carbonaceous chondrites were dated by extinct 16 million year I-129, in an attempt to establish the condensation time of the solar nebula. Two Fe3O4 or Fe3O4-FeS samples from the Murchison and Orgueil meteorites are older than any other material dated thus far, and apparently formed within 200,000 years of each other. The great age, close isochronism, and primitive nature of the samples suggest that the event recorded was the condensation stage of the solar nebula. It provides a suitable zero point for the chronology of the early solar system. The I-129/I-127 ratio during condensation of the nebula was (1.46 plus or minus 0.04) times 0.0001. The recrystallized C4 chondrite Karoonda began to retain Xe-129 1.8 plus or minus 0.5 million years after the above event. This short cooling time implies rapid accretion (not exceeding 1 million years) and a shallow origin (not exceeding 10 km) below the surface of its parent body.-

  19. Condensation time of the solar nebula from extinct 129I in primitive meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, R.S.; Anders, E.


    Mineral separates from five carbonaceous chondrites were dated by extinct 16 million year 129 I, in an attempt to establish the condensation time of the solar nebula. Two Fe 3 O 4 or Fe 3 O 4 --FeS samples from the Murchison and Orgueil meteorites are older than any other material dated thus far, and apparently formed within 2 x 10 5 years of each other. The great age, close isochronism, and primitive nature of the samples suggest that the event recorded was the condensation stage of the solar nebula. It provides a suitable zero point for the chronology of the early solar system. The 129 I/ 127 I ratio during condensation of the nebula was (1.46 +- 0.04) x 10 -4 . The recrystallized C4 chondrite Karoonda began to retain 129 Xe 1.8 +- 0.5 million years after the above event. This short cooling time implies rapid accretion (less than or equal to 1 million years) and a shallow origin (less than or equal to 10 km) below the surface of its parent body. (U.S.)

  20. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.


    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  1. Raman characterization of carbonaceous matter in CONCORDIA Antarctic micrometeorites (United States)

    Dobricǎ, E.; Engrand, C.; Quirico, E.; Montagnac, G.; Duprat, J.


    Abstract- We report a multi-wavelength Raman spectroscopy study of carbonaceous matter in 38 Antarctic micrometeorites (AMMs) from the 2006 CONCORDIA collection. The particles were selected as a function of their degree of thermal alteration developed during the deceleration in the atmosphere. These samples range from unmelted (fine-grained—Fg; ultracarbonaceous—UCAMMs) to partially melted AMMs (scorias—Sc) and completely melted particles (cosmic spherules—CS). More than half of the analyzed AMMs contain a substantial amount of polyaromatic carbonaceous matter with a high degree of disorder. The proportion of particles where carbon is not detected increase from the Fg to the Fg-Sc and to the Sc-AMMs, and no carbon is detected in CS. In addition, the spectral characteristics of the G and D bands of the carbonaceous matter in Sc-AMMs plot apart from the trend formed by the data from Fg-AMMs and UCAMMs. These results suggest that oxidation processes occurred during the deceleration of the particles in the atmosphere. In Fg-AMMs and UCAMMs, the spectral characteristics of the G and D bands reveal the high degree of disorder of the carbonaceous matter, precluding a long duration thermal metamorphism on the parent body and suggesting that AMMs have a connection with C1-C2 chondrites. The Raman parameters of the deuterium-rich carbonaceous matter of UCAMMs do not differ from that of Fg-AMMs. Using a 244 nm excitation, we detected the cyanide (-CN) functional group for the first time in a UCAMM, reinforcing the likely cometary origin of this type of micrometeorites.

  2. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep (United States)


    Astronomers Having Used ESO Telescopes Start Analysing Unique Dataset on the Comet Following the Deep Impact Mission Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1 with the aim to create a crater and expose pristine material from beneath the surface, astronomers are back in the ESO Offices in Santiago, after more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this unprecedented observing campaign - among the most ambitious ever conducted by a single observatory - the astronomers have collected a large amount of invaluable data on this comet. The astronomers have now started the lengthy process of data reduction and analysis. Being all together in a single place, and in close contacts with the space mission' scientific team, they will try to assemble a clear picture of the comet and of the impact. The ESO observations were part of a worldwide campaign to observe this unique experiment. During the campaign, ESO was connected by phone, email, and videoconference with colleagues in all major observatories worldwide, and data were freely exchanged between the different groups. This unique collaborative spirit provides astronomers with data taken almost around the clock during several days and this, with the largest variety of instruments, making the Deep Impact observing campaign one of the most successful of its kind, and thereby, ensuring the greatest scientific outcome. From the current analysis, it appears most likely that the impactor did not create a large new zone of activity and may have failed to liberate a large quantity of pristine material from beneath the surface. ESO PR Photo 22/05 ESO PR Photo 22/05 Evolution of Comet Tempel 1 (FORS2/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 701 pix - 128k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1401 pix - 357k] ESO PR Photo 22/05 Animated Gif Caption: ESO PR Photo 22/05 shows the evolution of Comet Tempel 1 as observed with the FORS2 instrument on Antu (VLT). The images obtained at the VLT show that

  3. Refractory Organics in Comet 69P Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Additional Evidence for Large-scale Mixing in the Primitive Solar Nebula? (United States)

    Nuth, J. A.; Johnson, N. M.; Ferguson, F. T.; Hilchenbach, M.; Merouane, S.; Paquette, J. A.; Stenzel, O.; Cottin, H.; Fray, N.; Bardyn, A.; hide


    The COSIMA instrument onboard the Rosetta spacecraft collected and analyzed samples of individual particles from the coma of Comet67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Initial results of the analysis of several particles have been presented elsewhere while analyses of the organic component of the dust particles has been shown to compare favor ably to laboratory spectra of IOM extracted from the Orguil and Murchison meteorites. Here we will compare the spectra of the same two particles to laboratory spectra of organic grain coatings produced via Surface Mediated Reactions of CO, H2 and N2 on amorphous iron silicate grains.

  4. Plasma and collision processes of hypervelocity meteorite impact in the prehistory of life (United States)

    Managadze, G.


    A new concept is proposed, according to which the plasma and collision processes accompanying hypervelocity impacts of meteorites can contribute to the arising of the conditions on early Earth, which are necessary for the appearance of primary forms of living matter. It was shown that the processes necessary for the emergence of living matter could have started in a plasma torch of meteorite impact and have continued in an impact crater in the case of the arising of the simplest life form. It is generally accepted that planets are the optimal place for the origin and evolution of life. In the process of forming the planetary systems the meteorites, space bodies feeding planet growth, appear around stars. In the process of Earth's formation, meteorite sizes ranged from hundreds and thousands of kilometres. These space bodies consisted mostly of the planetesimals and comet nucleus. During acceleration in Earth's gravitational field they reached hypervelocity and, hitting the surface of planet, generated powerful blowouts of hot plasma in the form of a torch. They also created giant-size craters and dense dust clouds. These bodies were composed of all elements needed for the synthesis of organic compounds, with the content of carbon being up to 5%-15%. A new idea of possible synthesis of the complex organic compounds in the hypervelocity impact-generated plasma torch was proposed and experimentally confirmed. A previously unknown and experimentally corroborated feature of the impact-generated plasma torch allowed a new concept of the prehistory of life to be developed. According to this concept the intensive synthesis of complex organic compounds arose during meteoritic bombardment in the first 0.5 billion years at the stage of the planet's formation. This most powerful and destructive action in Earth's history could have played a key role and prepared conditions for the origin of life. In the interstellar gas-dust clouds, the synthesis of simple organic matter could

  5. Absolute isotopic abundances of Ti in meteorites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niederer, F.R.; Papanastassiou, D.A.; Wasserburg, G.J.


    The absolute isotope abundance of Ti has been determined in Ca-Al-rich inclusions from the Allende and Leoville meteorites and in samples of whole meteorites. The absolute Ti isotope abundances differ by a significant mass dependent isotope fractionation transformation from the previously reported abundances, which were normalized for fractionation using 46 Ti/ 48 Ti. Therefore, the absolute compositions define distinct nucleosynthetic components from those previously identified or reflect the existence of significant mass dependent isotope fractionation in nature. We provide a general formalism for determining the possible isotope compositions of the exotic Ti from the measured composition, for different values of isotope fractionation in nature and for different mixing ratios of the exotic and normal components. The absolute Ti and Ca isotopic compositions still support the correlation of 50 Ti and 48 Ca effects in the FUN inclusions and imply contributions from neutron-rich equilibrium or quasi-equilibrium nucleosynthesis. The present identification of endemic effects at 46 Ti, for the absolute composition, implies a shortfall of an explosive-oxygen component or reflects significant isotope fractionation. Additional nucleosynthetic components are required by 47 Ti and 49 Ti effects. Components are also defined in which 48 Ti is enhanced. Results are given and discussed. (author)


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Hsin-Wei; Lee, Typhoon; Lee, Der-Chuen; Shen, Jason Jiun-San; Chen, Jiang-Chang


    Isotopic heterogeneities of 48 Ca have been found in numerous bulk meteorites that are correlated with 50 Ti and 54 Cr anomalies among differentiated planetary bodies, and the results suggest that a rare subset of neutron-rich Type Ia supernova (nSN Ia) was responsible for contributing these neutron-rich iron-group isotopes into the solar system (SS). The heterogeneity of these isotopes found in differentiated meteorites indicates that the isotopic compositions of the bulk SS are not uniform, and there are significant amounts of nSNe Ia dust incompletely mixed with the rest of SS materials during planetary formation. Combined with the data of now-extinct short-lived nuclide 60 Fe, which can be produced more efficiently from an nSN Ia than a Type II supernova ejecta, the observed planetary-scale isotopic heterogeneity probably reflects a late input of stellar dust grains with neutron-rich nuclear statistical equilibrium nuclides into the early SS.

  7. Were Ocean Impacts an Important Mechanism to Deliver Meteoritic Organic Matter to the Early Earth? Some Inferences from Eltanin (United States)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Gersonde, Rainer; Kuhn. Gerhard


    Several workers have addressed the potential for extraterrestrial delivery of volatles, including water and complex organic compounds, to the early Earth. For example, Chyba and Sagan (1992) argued that since impacts would destroy organic matter, most extraterrestrial organics must be delivered in the fine-fractions of interplanetary dust. More recent computer simulations (Pierazzo and Chyba, 1999), however, have shown that substantial amounts of amino acids may survive the impacts of large (km-sized) comets and that this may exceed the amounts derived from IDPs or Miller-Urey synthesis in the atmosphere. Once an ocean developed on the early Earth, impacts of small ,asteroids and comets into deep-ocean basins were potentially common and may have been the most likely events to deliver large amounts of organics. The deposits of the late Pliocene impact of the Eltanin asteroid into the Bellingshausen Sea provide the only record of a deep-ocean (approx. 5 km) impact that can be used to constrain models of these events. This impact was first discovered in 1981 as an Ir anomaly in sediment cores collected by the USNS Eltanin in 1965 (Kyte et al., 1981). In 1995, Polarstem expedition ANT XII/4 made the first geological survey of the suspected impact region. Three sediment cores sampled around the San Martin seamounts (approx. 57.5S, 91 W) contained well-preserved impact deposits that include disturbed ocean sediments and meteoritic impact ejecta (Gersonde et al., 1997). The latter is composed of shock- melted asteroidal materials and unmelted meteorites. In 2001, the FS Polarstem returned to the impact area during expedition ANT XVIII/5a. At least 16 cores were recovered that contain ejecta deposits. These cores and geophysical data from the expedition can be used to map the effects of the impact over a large region of the ocean floor.

  8. A GREAT search for Deuterium in Comets (United States)

    Mumma, Michael


    Comets are understood to be the most pristine bodies in the Solar System. Their compositions reflect the chemical state of materials at the very earliest evolutionary stages of the protosolar nebula and, as such, they provide detailed insight into the physical and chemical processes operating in planet-forming disks. Isotopic fractionation ratios of the molecular ices in the nucleus are regarded as signatures of formation processes. These ratios provide unique information on the natal heritage of those ices, and can also test the proposal that Earth's water and other volatiles were delivered by cometary bombardment. Measurement of deuterium fractionation ratios is thus a major goal in contemporary cometary science and the D/H ratio of water - the dominant volatile in comets - holds great promise for testing the formation history of cometary matter. The D/H ratio in cometary water has been measured in only eight comets. Seven were from the Oort Cloud reservoir and the D/H ratio was about twice that of the Earth's oceans. However, the recent Herschel measurement of HDO/H2O in 103P/Hartley-2 (the first from the Kuiper Belt) was consistent with exogenous delivery of Earth's water by comets. Outstanding questions remain: are cometary HDO/H2O ratios consistent with current theories of nebular chemical evolution or with an interstellar origin? Does the HDO/H2O ratio vary substantially among comet populations? Hartley-2 is the only Kuiper Belt comet with measured HDO/H2O, are there comets with similar ratios in the Oort cloud? These questions can only be addressed by measuring HDO/H2O ratios in many more suitable bright comets. We therefore propose to measure the D/H ratio in water in a suitable target-of-opportunity comet by performing observations of HDO and OH with the GREAT spectrometer on SOFIA. A multi-wavelength, ground-based observing campaign will also be conducted in support of the airborne observations.

  9. On the Q-phase of carbonaceous chondrites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vis, R.D.; Heymann, D.


    One of the unresolved puzzles of meteoritics is the nature of the carrier of the so-called heavy planetary gases. Apparently, these gases reside mainly in a minor fraction, which has been dubbed Q by Lewis et al. in analogy of the naming by Papanastasiou et al. of a minor glassy phase in lunar rocks

  10. Comet assay on mice testicular cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anoop Kumar Sharma


    Full Text Available Heritable mutations may result in a variety of adverse outcomes including genetic disease in the offspring. In recent years the focus on germ cell mutagenicity has increased and the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS” has published classification criteria for germ cell mutagens (Speit et al., 2009. The in vivo Comet assay is considered a useful tool for investigating germ cell genotoxicity. In the present study DNA strand breaks in testicular cells of mice were investigated. Different classes of chemicals were tested in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the comet assay in testicular cells. The chemicals included environmentally relevant substances such as Bisphenol A, PFOS and Tetrabrombisphenol A. Statistical power calculations will be presented to aid in the design of future Comet assay studies on testicular cells. Power curves were provided with different fold changes in % tail DNA, different number of cells scored and different number of gels (Hansen et al., 2014. An example is shown in Figure 1. A high throughput version of the Comet assay was used. Samples were scored with a fully automatic comet assay scoring system that provided faster scoring of randomly selected cells.

  11. Study of Comets Composition and Structure (United States)

    Khalaf, S. Z.; Selman, A. A.; Ali, H. S.


    The present paper focuses on the nature of the different interactions between cometary nucleus and tail with solar wind. The dynamics of the comet will impose many features that provide unique behavior of the comet when entering the solar system. These features are reviewed in this paper and few investigations are made. The calculations made in this work represent the analysis and interpretation of the different features of the comet, such as perihelion and eccentricity dependence on the gas production rate, and the dependence of the latter on the composition of the comet nucleus. The dependences of the heliocentric, bow shock, contact surface, and stand-off distances with gas production rate for many types of comets that cover linear and non-linear types are studied in this work. Important results are obtained which indicated the different physical interactions between cometary ions and solar wind. Furthermore, the important relation between mean molecular weight and gas production rate are analyzed and studied in this work and a conclusion is made that, as the gas production rate increases, the mean molecular weight will decrease exponentially. A detailed discussion for this unique relation is given.

  12. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, W.K.


    An important question for a comet mission is whether comet nuclei preserve information clarifying aggregation processes of planetary matter. New observational evidence shows that Trojan asteroids, as a group, display a higher fraction of highly-elongated objects than the belt. More recently evidence has accumulated that comet nuclei, as a group, also display highly-elongated shapes at macro-scale. This evidence comes from the several comets whose nuclear lightcurves or shapes have been well studied. Trojans and comet nuclei share other properties. Both groups have extremely low albedos and reddish-to neutral-black colors typical of asteroids of spectral class D, P, and C. Both groups may have had relatively low collision frequencies. An important problem to resolve with spacecraft imaging is whether these elongated shapes are primordial, or due to evolution of the objects. Two hypotheses that might be tested by a combination of global-scale and close-up imaging from various directions are: (1) The irregular shapes are primordial and related to the fact that these bodies have had lower collision frequencies than belt asteroids; or (2) The irregular shapes may be due to volatile loss

  13. Microbial Populations of Stony Meteorites: Substrate Controls on First Colonizers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alastair W. Tait


    Full Text Available Finding fresh, sterilized rocks provides ecologists with a clean slate to test ideas about first colonization and the evolution of soils de novo. Lava has been used previously in first colonizer studies due to the sterilizing heat required for its formation. However, fresh lava typically falls upon older volcanic successions of similar chemistry and modal mineral abundance. Given enough time, this results in the development of similar microbial communities in the newly erupted lava due to a lack of contrast between the new and old substrates. Meteorites, which are sterile when they fall to Earth, provide such contrast because their reduced and mafic chemistry commonly differs to the surfaces on which they land; thus allowing investigation of how community membership and structure respond to this new substrate over time. We conducted 16S rRNA gene analysis on meteorites and soil from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. We found that the meteorites have low species richness and evenness compared to soil sampled from directly beneath each meteorite. Despite the meteorites being found kilometers apart, the community structure of each meteorite bore more similarity to those of other meteorites (of similar composition than to the community structure of the soil on which it resided. Meteorites were dominated by sequences that affiliated with the Actinobacteria with the major Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU classified as Rubrobacter radiotolerans. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the next most abundant phyla. The soils were also dominated by Actinobacteria but to a lesser extent than the meteorites. We also found OTUs affiliated with iron/sulfur cycling organisms Geobacter spp. and Desulfovibrio spp. This is an important finding as meteorites contain abundant metal and sulfur for use as energy sources. These ecological findings demonstrate that the structure of the microbial community in these meteorites is controlled by the substrate, and will not

  14. Comparison of Nickel XANES Spectra and Elemental Maps from a Ureilite, a LL3.8 Ordinary Chondrite, Two Carbonaceous Chondrites and Two Large Cluster IDPs (United States)

    Wirick, S.; Flynn, G. J.; Sutton, S.; Zolensky, M. E.


    Nickel in the extraterrestrial world is commonly found in both Fe-Ni sulfide and Fe-Ni met-al forms [1] and in the pure metal state in the interior of iron meteorites where it is not easily oxidized. Ni is also found in olivine, pyroxene and glasses and in some melts the partitioning of Ni between the olivines and glass is controlled by the amount of S in the melt [2]. Its most common valence state is Ni(2+) but Ni also occurs as Ni(0), Ni(+), and Ni(3+) and rarely as Ni(2-), Ni(1-) and Ni(4+) [3]. It's valence state in olivines is Ni(2+) in octa-hedral coordination on the M1 site and rarely on the M2 site.[4]. The chemical sensitivity of X-ray absorp-tion near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy is well established and can be used to determine not only va-lence states but also coordination sites [5]. We report here Ni XANES spectroscopy and elemental maps collected from 2 carbonaceous chondrites, 2 large clus-ter IDPs, 1 ureilite and 1 LL3 orginary chondrite.Using XANES it may be possible to find a common trait in the large cluster IDPs that will also be found in mete-orite samples.

  15. The Okhansk Meteorite: Specifics of Composition, Structure, and Genesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.I. Bakhtin


    Full Text Available The Okhansk meteorite fell on August 18, 1887 near the village of Tabor, about 15 km away from the town of Okhansk in Perm province and weighed 186.5 kg (the total weight of collected fragments, according to P.I. Krotov, was more than 245 kg. The shock wave from the meteorite entry knocked down animals and riders on horses. Despite the fact that it was significantly stronger than that caused by the Chelyabinsk meteorite of 2013, all information about this meteorite has completely erased from people's memory. It has been shown that the meteorite is an ordinary olivine-bronzite chondrite. Its main silicate minerals are olivine, bronzite, plagioclase, and diopside. The main ore minerals are kamacite and troilite. The meteorite contains silicate glass in large amounts. The analysis of the composition and structure of the Okhansk meteorite has demonstrated that it was formed at the early stages of accretion of the melted substance of the protosolar nebula without undergoing endogenous, temperature, or pressure changes.

  16. Origin and abundance of water in carbonaceous asteroids (United States)

    Marrocchi, Yves; Bekaert, David V.; Piani, Laurette


    The origin and abundance of water accreted by carbonaceous asteroids remains underconstrained, but would provide important information on the dynamic of the protoplanetary disk. Here we report the in situ oxygen isotopic compositions of aqueously formed fayalite grains in the Kaba and Mokoia CV chondrites. CV chondrite bulk, matrix and fayalite O-isotopic compositions define the mass-independent continuous trend (δ17O = 0.84 ± 0.03 × δ18O - 4.25 ± 0.1), which shows that the main process controlling the O-isotopic composition of the CV chondrite parent body is related to isotopic exchange between 16O-rich anhydrous silicates and 17O- and 18O-rich fluid. Similar isotopic behaviors observed in CM, CR and CO chondrites demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of O-isotopic exchange as the main physical process in establishing the O-isotopic features of carbonaceous chondrites, regardless of their alteration degree. Based on these results, we developed a new approach to estimate the abundance of water accreted by carbonaceous chondrites (quantified by the water/rock ratio) with CM (0.3-0.4) ≥ CR (0.1-0.4) ≥ CV (0.1-0.2) > CO (0.01-0.10). The low water/rock ratios and the O-isotopic characteristics of secondary minerals in carbonaceous chondrites indicate they (i) formed in the main asteroid belt and (ii) accreted a locally derived (inner Solar System) water formed near the snowline by condensation from the gas phase. Such results imply low influx of D- and 17O- and 18O-rich water ice grains from the outer part of the Solar System. The latter is likely due to the presence of a Jupiter-induced gap in the protoplanetary disk that limited the inward drift of outer Solar System material at the exception of particles with size lower than 150 μm such as presolar grains. Among carbonaceous chondrites, CV chondrites show O-isotopic features suggesting potential contribution of 17-18O-rich water that may be related to their older accretion relative to other hydrated

  17. Comets As Objects of High Energy Astrophysics (United States)

    Ibadov, S.


    Strong soft X-ray emission from comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2 was discovered with ROSAT in March 27, 1996 (Lisse et al. 1996, Science 274, 205-209) and the results of a theoretical approach (Ibadov 1990, Icarus 86, 283-288) served as a motive for that observations (Dennerl, Lisse and Truemper 1998, Private Communications). It is now well established that comets emit EUV and X-rays regularly (Dennerl, Englhauser and Truemper 1997, Science 277, 1625-1630; Dennerl 1998, Proc. 16th Int. Conf. Atomic Physics, Windsor, Ontario, Canada). To explain this phenomenon different theoretical models were proposed (Krasnopolsky 1997, Icarus 128, 365-385; Ibadov 1998, Proc. First XMM Workshop, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, and references therein). In the paper the problem of identifying X-ray generation mechanisms in comets will be considered.

  18. Dynamics of comets: their origin and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carusi, A.; Valsecchi, G.B.


    Comets can be considered as remnants of the original population of planetesimals and the study of their origin and dynamical histories can provide insight into the accretion phenomena; the original mass, energy and angular momentum distribution across the solar system; the collisional fragmentation of minor bodies; the impact rates on planets and the nature of impacting bodies. The interaction of comets with other solar system bodies certainly provides one of the best possibilities for a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the whole system, and a challenging test for all theories of celestial mechanics dealing with the gravitational behaviour of multiple-body systems. Comets could also be considered as the last footprints left by the interaction of the protosun and its original galactic environment. (orig.)

  19. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets (United States)

    Kresak, L.

    Current concepts of the origin and evolution of comets are reviewed. The place of their formation from which they have been delivered into the Oort reservoir is still an open problem, but the region of the outermost planets appears most probable. The interplay of stellar and planetary perturbations can be traced by model computations which reveal both the general trends and the variety of individual evolutionary paths. The present structure of the system of comets is controlled by the dynamical evolution of its individual members, limited by their physical aging by disintegration. Where the lifetimes are short, as in the Jupiter family of short-period comets, an equilibrium between elimination and replenishment is established. The role of different destructive processes and the resulting survival times are discussed.

  20. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kresak, L.


    Current concepts of the origin and evolution of comets are reviewed. The place of their formation from which they have been delivered into the Oort reservoir is still an open problem, but the region of the outermost planets appears most probable. The interplay of stellar and planetary perturbations can be traced by model computations which reveal both the general trends and the variety of individual evolutionary paths. The present structure of the system of comets is controlled by the dynamical evolution of its individual members limited by their physical aging by disintegration. Where the lifetimes are short, as in the Jupiter family of short-period comets, an equilibrium between elimination and replenishment is established. The role of different destructive processes and the resulting survival times are discussed. (Auth.)

  1. Spiral arms, comets and terrestrial catastrophism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clube, S.V.M.; Napier, W.M.


    A review is presented of an hypothesis of terrestrial catastrophism in which comets grow in molecular clouds and are captured by the Sun as it passes through the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Assuming that comets are a major supplier of the Earth-crossing (Appollo) asteroid population, the latter fluctuates correspondingly and leads to episodes of terrestrial bombardment. Changes in the rotational momentum of core and mantle, generated by impacts, lead to episodes of magnetic field reversal and tectonic activity, while surface phenomena lead to ice-ages and mass extinctions. An episodic geophysical history with an interstellar connection is thus implied. If comets in spiral arms are necessary intermediaries in the process of star formation, the theory also has implications relating to early solar system history and galactic chemistry. These aspects are briefly discussed with special reference to the nature of spiral arms. (author)

  2. The mass disruption of Jupiter Family comets (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.


    I show that the size-distribution of small scattered-disk trans-neptunian objects when derived from the observed size-distribution of Jupiter Family comets (JFCs) and other observational constraints implies that a large percentage (94-97%) of newly arrived active comets within a range of 0.2-15.4 km effective radius must physically disrupt, i.e., macroscopically disintegrate, within their median dynamical lifetime. Additional observational constraints include the numbers of dormant and active nuclei in the near-Earth object (NEO) population and the slope of their size distributions. I show that the cumulative power-law slope (-2.86 to -3.15) of the scattered-disk TNO hot population between 0.2 and 15.4 km effective radius is only weakly dependent on the size-dependence of the otherwise unknown disruption mechanism. Evidently, as JFC nuclei from the scattered disk evolve into the inner Solar System only a fraction achieve dormancy while the vast majority of small nuclei (e.g., primarily those with effective radius <2 km) break-up. The percentage disruption rate appears to be comparable with that of the dynamically distinct Oort cloud and Halley type comets (Levison, H.F., Morbidelli, A., Dones, L., Jedicke, R., Wiegert, P.A., Bottke Jr., W.F. [2002]. Science 296, 2212-2215) suggesting that all types of comet nuclei may have similar structural characteristics even though they may have different source regions and thermal histories. The typical disruption rate for a 1 km radius active nucleus is ∼5 × 10-5 disruptions/year and the dormancy rate is typically 3 times less. We also estimate that average fragmentation rates range from 0.01 to 0.04 events/year/comet, somewhat above the lower limit of 0.01 events/year/comet observed by Chen and Jewitt (Chen, J., Jewitt, D.C. [1994]. Icarus 108, 265-271).

  3. Comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids - A new link and a possible mechanism for comet splittings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, W.K.; Tholen, D.J.


    Relatively elongated shapes, implied by recent evidence of a greater incidence of high amplitude lightcurves for comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids than for similarly scaled main belt asteroids, are suggested to have evolved among comet nuclei and Trojans due to volatile loss. It is further suggested that such an evolutionary course may account for observed comet splitting; rotational splitting may specifically occur as a result of evolution in the direction of an elongated shape through sublimation. Supporting these hypotheses, the few m/sec separation velocities projected for rotationally splitting elongated nuclei are precisely in the observed range. 40 refs

  4. Detection of radiation-induced apoptosis using the comet assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wada, Seiichi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Funayama, Tomoo; Yamamoto, Kazuo; Khoa, Tran Van; Natsuhori, Masahiro; Ito, Nobuhiko


    The electrophoresis pattern of apoptotic cells detected by the comet assay has a characteristic small head and spread tail. This image has been referred to as an apoptotic comet, but it has not been previously proven to be apoptotic cells by any direct method. In order to identify this image obtained by the comet assay as corresponding to an apoptotic cell, the frequency of appearance of apoptosis was examined using CHO-K1 and L5178Y cells which were exposed to gamma irradiation. As a method for detecting apoptosis, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay was used. When the frequency of appearance of apoptotic cells following gamma irradiation was observed over a period of time, there was a significant increase in appearance of apoptosis when using the TUNEL assay. However, there was only a slight increase when using the comet assay. In order to verify the low frequency of appearance of apoptosis when using the comet assay, we attempted to use the TUNEL assay to satin the apoptotic comets detected in the comet assay. The apoptotic comets were TUNEL positive and the normal comets were TUNEL negative. This indicates that the apoptotic comets were formed from DNA fragments with 3'-hydroxy ends that are generated as cells undergo apoptosis. Therefore, it was understood that the characteristic pattern of apoptotic comets detected by the comet assay corresponds to cells undergoing apoptosis. (author)

  5. To Catch A Comet...Learning From Halley's. (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    Comet chronicles and stories extend back over thousands of years. A common theme has been that comets are a major cause of catastrophe and tragedy here on earth. In addition, both Aristotle and Ptolemy believed that comets were phenomena within the earth's atmosphere, and it wasn't until the 16th century, when Danish astronomer Tycho Brache…

  6. The shortage of long-period comets in elliptical orbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Everhart, E.


    Based on the number of 'new' comets seen on near-parabolic orbits, one can predict the number of comets that should be found on definitely elliptical orbits on their subsequent returns. The author shows that about three out of four of these returning comets are not observed. (Auth.)

  7. Spectrophotometry of seventeen comets. II - The continuum (United States)

    Newburn, R. L., Jr.; Spinrad, H.


    One-hundred-twenty IDS scans of the continua in 17 comets are analyzed to determine dust production rates and color as a function of heliocentric distance. Improved theory indicates that the dust loading of gas typically varies between 0.05 and 0.3 by mass (assuming a geometric albedo of 0.05 and oxygen expansion at 1 km/s) except during outbursts, when it rises much higher. P/Encke near perihelion falls much lower yet, to 0.004 or less. Dust loading is not always constant as a function of time in a given comet. Dust color is typically reddish, as has often been noted before.

  8. Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets (United States)


    VLT Opens New Window towards Our Origins Summary A team of European astronomers [1] has used the UVES spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope to perform a uniquely detailed study of Comet LINEAR (C/2000 WM1) . This is the first time that this powerful instrument has been employed to obtain high-resolution spectra of a comet. At the time of the observations in mid-March 2002, Comet LINEAR was about 180 million km from the Sun, moving outwards after its perihelion passage in January. As comets are believed to carry "pristine" material - left-overs from the formation of the solar system, about 4,600 million years ago - studies of these objects are important to obtain clues about the origins of the solar system and the Earth in particular. The high quality of the data obtained of this moving 9th-magnitude object has permitted a determination of the cometary abundance of various elements and their isotopes [2]. Of particular interest is the unambiguous detection and measurement of the nitrogen-15 isotope. The only other comet in which this isotope has been observed is famous Comet Hale-Bopp - this was during the passage in 1997, when it was much brighter than Comet LINEAR. Most interestingly, Comet LINEAR and Comet Hale-Bopp display the same isotopic abundance ratio, about 1 nitrogen-15 atom for each 140 nitrogen-14 atoms ( 14 N/ 15 N = 140 ± 30) . That is about half of the terrestrial value (272). It is also very different from the result obtained by means of radio measurements of Comet Hale-Bopp ( 14 N/ 15 N = 330 ± 75). Optical and radio measurements concern different molecules (CN and HCN, respectively), and this isotopic anomaly must be explained by some differentiation mechanism. The astronomers conclude that part of the cometary nitrogen is trapped in macromolecules attached to dust particles . The successful entry of UVES into cometary research now opens eagerly awaited opportunities for similiar observations in other, comparatively faint comets. These

  9. CometQ: An automated tool for the detection and quantification of DNA damage using comet assay image analysis. (United States)

    Ganapathy, Sreelatha; Muraleedharan, Aparna; Sathidevi, Puthumangalathu Savithri; Chand, Parkash; Rajkumar, Ravi Philip


    DNA damage analysis plays an important role in determining the approaches for treatment and prevention of various diseases like cancer, schizophrenia and other heritable diseases. Comet assay is a sensitive and versatile method for DNA damage analysis. The main objective of this work is to implement a fully automated tool for the detection and quantification of DNA damage by analysing comet assay images. The comet assay image analysis consists of four stages: (1) classifier (2) comet segmentation (3) comet partitioning and (4) comet quantification. Main features of the proposed software are the design and development of four comet segmentation methods, and the automatic routing of the input comet assay image to the most suitable one among these methods depending on the type of the image (silver stained or fluorescent stained) as well as the level of DNA damage (heavily damaged or lightly/moderately damaged). A classifier stage, based on support vector machine (SVM) is designed and implemented at the front end, to categorise the input image into one of the above four groups to ensure proper routing. Comet segmentation is followed by comet partitioning which is implemented using a novel technique coined as modified fuzzy clustering. Comet parameters are calculated in the comet quantification stage and are saved in an excel file. Our dataset consists of 600 silver stained images obtained from 40 Schizophrenia patients with different levels of severity, admitted to a tertiary hospital in South India and 56 fluorescent stained images obtained from different internet sources. The performance of "CometQ", the proposed standalone application for automated analysis of comet assay images, is evaluated by a clinical expert and is also compared with that of a most recent and related software-OpenComet. CometQ gave 90.26% positive predictive value (PPV) and 93.34% sensitivity which are much higher than those of OpenComet, especially in the case of silver stained images. The

  10. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites. (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L


    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  11. Radioactivity of the moon, planets, and meteorites (United States)

    Surkou, Y. A.; Fedoseyev, G. A.


    Analytical data is summarized for the content of natural radioactive elements in meteorites, eruptive terrestrial rocks, and also in lunar samples returned by Apollo missions and the Luna series of automatic stations. The K-U systematics of samples analyzed in the laboratory are combined with data for orbital gamma-ray measurements for Mars (Mars 5) and with the results of direct gamma-ray measurements of the surface of Venus by the Venera 8 lander. Using information about the radioactivity of solar system bodies and evaluations of the content of K, U, and Th in the terrestrial planets, we examine certain aspects of the evolution of material in the protoplanetary gas-dust cloud and then in the planets of the solar system.

  12. Anomalous krypton in the Allende meteorite (United States)

    Frick, U.


    The reported investigation provides important new data for the heavy noble gases, especially Kr, in the Allende meteorite. The data are used to criticize the original model of Lewis et al. (1975) based on the noble gas data of these researchers. The conclusions reached in the investigation support alternative models which have been mainly based on Xe data by Lewis et al. (1975, 1977). Because of the relatively high noble gas abundances in the separates studied, disturbance from nuclear effects occurring in situ such as spallation and neutron capture is insignificant, offering an opportunity to study primordial Ar, Kr, and Xe. The isotopic and abundance data obtained from the samples largely confirm the noble gas results of Lewis et al. (1975, 1977) where isotopic correlations agree with the correlations of the considered samples. It is found that both Kr and Xe data are consistent with a two component mixture of 'ordinary' as well as 'anomalous' planetary gases.

  13. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Lauvas, Anna Jacobsen; Christensen, Preben


    . Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI...... inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.Methods: Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous...... flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA.Results: Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed...

  14. Treating distillable carbonaceous materials with hydrocarbon gases, etc

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    A process is described for the treatment of distillable carbonaceous materials with hydrogen gases in the presence of hydrogen halides to recover valuable hydrocarbon products, characterized by the stable halide forming the treating medium for the hot-test gasesous product of this treatment with hydrogen gases in combination with an alkaline metal or alkaline earth, able to be decomposed by an inorganic acid soluble in water, capable of driving off hydrogen halide from their salts and also with salts of ammonia of the mentioned inorganic acids, the halide being converted into halide of ammonia and halogen, and the ammonia halide or hydrogen halide being returned to the process alone or together with the feed of carbonaceous materials with which it began.

  15. Immobilization of pentachlorophenol in soil using carbonaceous material amendments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wen Bei [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 (China)], E-mail:; Li Ruijuan; Zhang Shuzhen [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 (China); Shan Xiaoquan [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 (China)], E-mail:; Fang Jing; Xiao Ke [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100085 (China); Khan, Shahamat U. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSN 3E2, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444 (United States)


    In this study, three pentachlorophenol (PCP) laboratory-spiked and one field-contaminated soil were amended with 2.0% char, humic acid (HA) and peat, respectively. The amended soils were aged for either 7 or 250 days. After amendment, CaCl{sub 2} extractability of PCP was significantly decreased. Desorption kinetics indicated that the proposed amendment could lead to a strong binding and slow desorption of PCP in soils. Amendment with char reduced the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) of PCP most significantly for earthworms (Eisenia fetida) in all soils studied. The results of both physicochemical and biological tests suggested that amendment reduced PCP bioavailability quickly and enduringly, implying that carbonaceous material amendment, especially char amendment, was a potentially attractive in situ remediation method for sequestration of PCP in contaminated soil. - Carbonaceous material amendment was a potential in situ remediation method for pentachlorophenol contaminated soil.

  16. Slurry burner for mixture of carbonaceous material and water (United States)

    Nodd, D.G.; Walker, R.J.


    The present invention is intended to overcome the limitations of the prior art by providing a fuel burner particularly adapted for the combustion of carbonaceous material-water slurries which includes a stationary high pressure tip-emulsion atomizer which directs a uniform fuel into a shearing air flow as the carbonaceous material-water slurry is directed into a combustion chamber, inhibits the collection of unburned fuel upon and within the atomizer, reduces the slurry to a collection of fine particles upon discharge into the combustion chamber, and regulates the operating temperature of the burner as well as primary air flow about the burner and into the combustion chamber for improved combustion efficiency, no atomizer plugging and enhanced flame stability.

  17. Origin and nature of carbonaceous material in the galaxy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoyle, F; Wickramasinghe, N C [University Coll. of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff (UK)


    It is stated that astronomers generally believe that the carbonaceous material emerging from stars must be in the form of graphite, the most stable condensed form of carbon, and that such emergence must be confined to situations where the C/O ratio exceeds unity, such as in the atmospheres of carbon stars. It is argued here, however, that whilst this state of affairs remains valid for mass flows from stars of sufficiently low surface temperatures, it is not correct for low density flows from stars with colour temperatures approximately > 4,000 K (or for oscillatory stars with colour temperatures that go above 4,000 K for a portion of their cycle). In the latter case it is shown that carbonaceous material comprised mainly of polysaccharides will be able to condense. Implications for the origin of life on the Earth are discussed.

  18. Uranium band types in carbonaceous sediments with different diagenesis levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borstel, D. von.


    Uraniferous peats, lignites and coals were studied by chemical and geological methods in order to determine the influence of carbonaceous substances with different diagenesis levels on uranium enrichment in sediments. It was found that the main factor of deposit genesis is not the chemical bending of uranium to the organic substance but rather the reduction from mobile U(VI) to immobile U(IV) in the course of diagenesis to epigenesis. (orig./PW) [de

  19. Characterization of baking behaviour of carbonaceous materials by dilatation investigations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Born, M.; Seichter, A.; Starke, S.


    An increase in volume can be observed in carbonaceous materials during baking which is assumed to be the reason for strains and crack formation. It occurs most pronouncedly within a temperature range from 100 to 200{degree}C. The causes of such phenomena in products pressed at different temperatures are analyzed by means of a gas pressure model and a relaxation model. The factors influencing dilatation are subject to thermal analysis. 15 refs., 13 figs.

  20. Processes for liquefying carbonaceous feedstocks and related compositions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacDonnell, Frederick M.; Dennis, Brian H.; Billo, Richard E.; Priest, John W.


    Methods for the conversion of lignites, subbituminous coals and other carbonaceous feedstocks into synthetic oils, including oils with properties similar to light weight sweet crude oil using a solvent derived from hydrogenating oil produced by pyrolyzing lignite are set forth herein. Such methods may be conducted, for example, under mild operating conditions with a low cost stoichiometric co-reagent and/or a disposable conversion agent.

  1. Microporous carbonaceous adsorbents for CO2 separation via selective adsorption

    KAUST Repository

    Zhao, Yunfeng


    Selective adsorption of CO2 has important implications for many energy and environment-related processes, which require the separation of CO2 from other gases (e.g. N2 and CH4) with high uptakes and selectivity. The development of high-performance adsorbents is one of the most promising solutions to the success of these processes. The present review is focused on the state-of-the-art of carbon-based (carbonaceous) adsorbents, covering microporous inorganic carbons and microporous organic polymers, with emphasis on the correlation between their textural and compositional properties and their CO2 adsorption/separation performance. Special attention is given to the most recently developed materials that were not covered in previous reviews. We summarize various effective strategies (N-doping, surface functionalization, extra-framework ions, molecular design, and pore size engineering) for enhancing the CO2 adsorption capacity and selectivity of carbonaceous adsorbents. Our discussion focuses on CO2/N2 separation and CO2/CH4 separation, while including an introduction to the methods and criteria used for evaluating the performance of the adsorbents. Critical issues and challenges regarding the development of high-performance adsorbents as well as some overlooked facts and misconceptions are also discussed, with the aim of providing important insights into the design of novel carbonaceous porous materials for various selective adsorption based applications. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  2. Carbonaceous Aerosol Characterization during 2016 KOR-US 2016 (United States)

    Rodriguez, B.; Santos, G. M.; Sanchez, D.; Jeong, D.; Czimczik, C. I.; Kim, S.


    Atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols are a major component of fine particulate matter and assume important roles in Earth's climate and human health. Because atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols exist as a continuum ranging from small, light-scattering organic carbon (OC), to highly-condensed, light-absorbing elemental carbon (EC) they have contrasting effects on interaction with incoming and outgoing radiation, cloud formation, and snow/ice albedo. By strengthening our understanding of the relative contribution and sources of OC and EC we will be able to further describe aerosol formation and mixing at the regional level. To understand the relative anthropogenic and biogenic contributions to carbonaceous aerosol, 12 PM10 aerosols samples were collected on quartz fiber filters at the Mt. Taewha Research Forest in South Korea during the KORUS-AQ 2016 campaign over periods of 24-48 hours with a high-volume air sampler. Analysis of bulk C and N concentrations and absorption properties of filter extracts interspersed with HYSPLIT model results indicated that continental outflow across the Yellow Sea in enriched in bulk nitrogen loading and enhanced bulk absorptive properties of the aerosols. Bulk radiocarbon analysis also indicated enriched values in all samples indicating contamination from a nuclear power plant or the combustion of biomedical waste nearby. Here, we aim to investigate further the chemical characterization of VOCs adsorbed unto the aerosol through TD-GC-TOFMS. With this dataset we aim to determine the relative contribution of anthropogenic and biogenic aerosols by utilizing specific chemical tracers for source apportionment.

  3. Biomass-derived carbonaceous materials as components in wood briquettes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stengl, S.; Koch, C.; Stadlbauer, E.A.; Scheer, J. [Univ. of Applied Sciences, THM Campus Giessen, Giessen (Germany); Weber, B. [Instituto de Ingenieria de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Coyoacan (Mexico); Strohal, U.; Fey, J. [Strohal Anlagenbau, Staufenberg (Germany)


    The present paper describes a briquette composed of a substantial amount of wooden biomass and up to 35% of carbonaceous materials derived from biogenic residues. The cellulosic component may be a mixture of any wooden residue. Suitable substrates for the carbonaceous fraction are vegetation wastes from land management or agriculture. Depending on physical and chemical nature of the substrate, Hydrothermal Carbonisation (HTC) or Low Temperature Conversion (LTC) may be used to produce the carbonaceous part of the briquette. HTC turns wet biomass at temperatures around 200 deg C in an autoclave into lignite whereas LTC treatment at 400 deg C and atmospheric pressure produces black coal. This is manifested by a molar ratio of 0.1 {<=} H/C (LTC) {<=} 0.7; 0.05{<=} O/C (LTC) {<=} 0.4 and 0.7 < H/C (HTC) <1.5 ; 0.2< O/C (HTC) < 0.5. Solid state {sup 13}C-NMR confirms these findings showing a strong absorption band for sp{sup 2}-hybridized carbon atoms at chemical shifts of 100 ppm und 165 ppm for LTC biochar. Depending on the substrate, HTC gives rise to an increase in the specific calorific value (MJ/kg) by a factor of {Psi} {approx} 1.2 - 1.4; LTC by 1.5 - 1.8. In addition ash melting points are significantly increased; in case of wheat straw by about 200 deg C. Compacted products may have a cylindrical or rectangular profile.

  4. Comets and the origin and evolution of life

    CERN Document Server

    McKay, Christopher P


    Nine years after the publication of Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life, one of the pioneering books in Astrobiology, this second edition revisits the role comets may have played in the origins and evolution of life. Recent analyses of Antarctic micrometeorites and ancient rocks in Australia and South Africa, the continuing progress in discovering complex organic macromolecules in comets, protostars and interstellar clouds, new insights into organic synthesis in comets, and numerical simulations of comet impacts on the Earth and other members of the solar system yield a spectacular wea

  5. OpenComet: An automated tool for comet assay image analysis


    Gyori, Benjamin M.; Venkatachalam, Gireedhar; Thiagarajan, P.S.; Hsu, David; Clement, Marie-Veronique


    Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires ...

  6. The role of population in tracking meteorite falls in Africa (United States)

    Khiri, F.; Ibhi, A.; Saint-Gerant, T.; Medjkane, M.; Ouknine, L.


    The 158 African meteorite falls recorded during the period 1801 to 2014, account for more than 12.3% of all meteorite falls known from the world. Their rate is variable in time and in space. The number of falls continues to grow since 1860. They are concentrated in countries which exhibit large population (mainly rural population) with an uniform distribution. Generally, the number of falls follows the increase of the population density (coefficient of correlation r = 0.98). The colonial phenomenon, the education of population in this field, the population lifestyle and the rural exodus, are also factors among others which could explain the variability of the recovery of meteorite falls in Africa. In this note, we try by a statistical study, to examine the role of the African population in tracking meteorite falls on this continent.

  7. Meteorite-catalyzed synthesis of nucleosides and other prebiotic compounds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ferus, Martin; Knížek, Antonín; Civiš, Svatopluk


    Roč. 112, č. 23 (2015), s. 7109-7110 ISSN 0027-8424 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : meteorite-catalzzed synthesis * nucleosides * prebiotic compounds Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 9.423, year: 2015

  8. A Chemical Comparison of STARDUST Organics with Insoluble Organic Matter in Chondritic Meteorites (United States)

    Cody, G. D.; Yabuta, H.; Alexander, C. M.; Araki, T.; Kilcoyne, D.


    We have analyzed 15 organic rich particles extracted from the aerogel capture device flown on the STARDUST mission spacecraft to comet Wild 2 using C-, N-, and O-X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy. Data were acquired with the Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) beam line 5.3.2 at the Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. XANES can provide both quantitative molecular functional group information and atomic N/C and O/C data. We use these data to place the organic matter extracted from the Aerogel Capture device in context with a large database of C-, N-, and O-XANES spectra obtained on meteoritic Insoluble Organic Matter (IOM) obtained from type 1, 2, and 3 chondrites. We find that the organic chemistry of the particles extracted from aerogel varies in functional group abundances, but is universally very rich in heteroatoms (N and O). In several cases the organic carbon is closely associated with silica (possibly derived from the aerogel), but at a concentration far in excess of the intrinsic carbon abundance of synthesized (and flown) aerogel. Independently, 29-Si, 13-C, and 1-H solid state NMR was applied to analyze the nature of organic carbon present in the aerogel as byproduct of the synthesis. The intrinsic aerogel carbon is very simple in its functional group chemistry, very low in abundance, and differs completely from that detected in the extracted organic particles.

  9. Nebula Scale Mixing Between Non-Carbonaceous and Carbonaceous Chondrite Reservoirs: Testing the Grand Tack Model with Almahata Sitta Stones (United States)

    Yin, Q.-Z.; Sanborn, M. E.; Goodrich, C. A.; Zolensky, M.; Fioretti, A. M.; Shaddad, M.; Kohl, I. E.; Young, E. D.


    There is an increasing number of Cr-O-Ti isotope studies that show that solar system materials are divided into two main populations, one carbonaceous chondrite (CC)-like and the other is non-carbonaceous (NCC)-like, with minimal mixing between them attributed to a gap opened in the propoplanetary disk due to Jupiter's formation. The Grand Tack model suggests that there should be a particular time in the disk history when this gap is breached and ensuring a subsequent large-scale mixing between S- and C-type asteroids (inner solar system and outer solar system materials), an idea supported by our recent work on chondrule (Delta)17O-(epsilon)54Cr isotope systematics.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A' Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Keller, H. Uwe [Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Kawakita, Hideyo [Department of Physics, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kamigamo JP Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan); Hampton, Donald L. [Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States); Kissel, Jochen [Max-Planck-Institut for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Strasse 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); McFadden, Lucy A. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Schultz, Peter H. [Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (United States); Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Groussin, Olivier [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, Universite d' Aix-Marseille and CNRS, UMR7326, 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille Cedex 13 (France); Lisse, Carey M., E-mail: [Space Department, JHU-APL, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); and others


    We describe recent results on the CO/CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O composition of comets together with a survey of older literature (primarily for CO/H{sub 2}O) and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. Even with the currently small sample, there is a wide dispersion in abundance ratios and little if any systematic difference between Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) and long-period and Halley-type comets (LPCs and HTCs). We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO{sub 2} and also require formation of all types of comets in largely, but not entirely, overlapping regions, probably between the CO and CO{sub 2} snow lines. Any difference in the regions of formation is in the opposite direction from the classical picture with the JFCs having formed closer to the Sun than the LPCs. In the classical picture, the LPCs formed in the region of the giant planets and the JFCs formed in the Kuiper Belt. However, these data suggest, consistent with suggestions on dynamical grounds, that the JFCs and LPCs formed in largely overlapping regions where the giant planets are today and with JFCs on average forming slightly closer to the Sun than did the LPCs. Presumably at least the JFCs passed through the scattered disk on their way to their present dynamical family.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S.; Keller, H. Uwe; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hampton, Donald L.; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Meech, Karen J.; Schultz, Peter H.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Groussin, Olivier; Lisse, Carey M.


    We describe recent results on the CO/CO 2 /H 2 O composition of comets together with a survey of older literature (primarily for CO/H 2 O) and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. Even with the currently small sample, there is a wide dispersion in abundance ratios and little if any systematic difference between Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) and long-period and Halley-type comets (LPCs and HTCs). We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO 2 and also require formation of all types of comets in largely, but not entirely, overlapping regions, probably between the CO and CO 2 snow lines. Any difference in the regions of formation is in the opposite direction from the classical picture with the JFCs having formed closer to the Sun than the LPCs. In the classical picture, the LPCs formed in the region of the giant planets and the JFCs formed in the Kuiper Belt. However, these data suggest, consistent with suggestions on dynamical grounds, that the JFCs and LPCs formed in largely overlapping regions where the giant planets are today and with JFCs on average forming slightly closer to the Sun than did the LPCs. Presumably at least the JFCs passed through the scattered disk on their way to their present dynamical family.

  12. Comet assay. Pt.1. Theory and practice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kruszewski, M.; Wojewodzka, M.; Iwanenko, T.


    Comet assay is a new method for measuring DNA breakage in a single cell. The main applications of the method are estimation of DNA single and double strand breaks, oxidative damage, pyrimidine dimers and (6-4)photoproducts, DNA-DNA and DNA-protein crosslinks. The method is used for studying DNA damage and its repair. (author).19 refs, 9 figs

  13. Comet C/2001 A1 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blythe, M.; Dawson, M.; Kornos, L.; Koleny, P.; Kotková, Lenka; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.

    č. 7561 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  14. Comet C/2001 Q1 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lawrence, K. J.; Helin, E. F.; Pravdo, S. H.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Kočer, M.; Spahr, T. B.

    č. 7685 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  15. Comet P/2001 T3 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lawrence, K. J.; Pravdo, S. H.; Helin, E. F.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Jelínek, P.

    č. 7733 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  16. Comet P/2001 MD 7 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blythe, M.; Kotková, Lenka; Marsden, B. G.

    č. 7660 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  17. New Application of the Comet Assay (United States)

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I.; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I.; Fernández, José Luís; López-Fernández, Carmen; Gosálbez, Altea; Gosálvez, Jaime


    The comet assay is a well-established, simple, versatile, visual, rapid, and sensitive tool used extensively to assess DNA damage and DNA repair quantitatively and qualitatively in single cells. The comet assay is most frequently used to analyze white blood cells or lymphocytes in human biomonitoring studies, although other cell types have been examined, including buccal, nasal, epithelial, and placental cells and even spermatozoa. This study was conducted to design a protocol that can be used to generate comets in subnuclear units, such as chromosomes. The new technique is based on the chromosome isolation protocols currently used for whole chromosome mounting in electron microscopy, coupled to the alkaline variant of the comet assay, to detect DNA damage. The results show that migrant DNA fragments can be visualized in whole nuclei and isolated chromosomes and that they exhibit patterns of DNA migration that depend on the level of DNA damage produced. This protocol has great potential for the highly reproducible study of DNA damage and repair in specific chromosomal domains. PMID:21540337

  18. Comet C/2001 A2 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravec, Petr; Kotková, Lenka; Tichý, M.; Kočer, M.

    č. 7564 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  19. Comet C/2001 Q6 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pravdo, S. H.; Helin, E. F.; Lawrence, K. J.; Tichý, M.; Kotková, Lenka; Wolf, M.; Balam, D.; Shelus, P. J.

    č. 7698 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  20. Report of Some Comets: The Discovery of Uranus and Comets by William, Caroline, and John Herschel (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Olson, R. J. M.


    We report on the discovery and drawings of comets by William, Caroline, and John Herschel. The first discovery, by William Herschel, in 1781 from Bath, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society with the title "Report of a Comet," turned out to be Uranus, the first planet ever discovered, Mercury through Saturn having been known since antiquity. William's sister Caroline was given duties of sweeping the skies and turned out to be a discoverer of 8 comets in her own right, in addition to keeping William's notes. Caroline's comets were discovered from Slough between 1786 and 1797. In the process, we also discuss original documents from the archives of the Royal Society and of the Royal Astronomical Society. We conclude by showing comet drawings that we have recently attributed to John Herschel, including Halley's Comet from 1836, recently located in the Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin. Acknowledgments: Planetary astronomy at Williams College is supported in part by grant NNX08AO50G from NASA Planetary Astronomy. We thank Peter Hingley of the Royal Astronomical Society and Richard Oram of the Harry Ransom Center of The University of Texas at Austin for their assistance.