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Organic molecules in meteorites

  • Zita Martins (a1)

Abstract

The analysis of the organic content of meteorites provides a window into the conditions of the early solar system, such as the extension of aqueous alteration or thermal metamorphism on the meteorite parent bodies. The analysis of the soluble organic content of CM chondrites indicates that extensive aqueous alteration on their meteorite parent body may result on 1) the decomposition of α-amino acids; 2) synthesis of β- and γ-amino acids; 3) higher relative abundances of alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and 4) higher L-enantiomer excess (Lee) value of isovaline. Exogenous delivery of organic matter by meteorites may have contributed to the organic inventory of the early Earth, providing a diversity of resources to the first living organisms on Earth and on other places of our solar system where life could have potentially originated.

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