EMU Volume 15 – Chapter 2

Chapter 2. Organics in primitive meteorites
Laurent Remusat

Comets and the asteroidal parents of chondritic meteorites formed from primitive materials in the early Solar System, including water and organics, and have remained undifferentiated since their accretion. Thus, dust particles and meteorites derived from these bodies that are available for study in the laboratory contain constituents of the solar nebula, although we must always be mindful that post-accretionary processing within parent bodies may have modified the original components, including organics, and synthesized new materials. A review of the organics that have been recovered in the most primitive of the chondritic meteorites is presented here. Similar material that occurs in interplanetary dust particles and micrometeorites, and in cometary grains returned to Earth by the Stardust mission, is discussed. A focus of the review is on materials that can be studied by laboratory techniques including gas source mass spectrometry, secondary ion mass spectrometry and other organic chemistry methods.

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