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Photostability of gas- and solid-phase biomolecules under astrophysical analog soft X-rays field

  • S. Pilling (a1) (a2), D. P. P. Andrade (a1) (a2), R. T. Marinho (a3), E. M. do Nascimento (a3), H. M. Boechat-Roberty (a4), R. B. de Castilho (a4), G. G. B. de Souza (a4), L. H. Coutinho (a4), R. L. Cavasso-Filho (a5), A. F. Lago (a5) and A. N. de Brito (a6)...

Abstract

We present experimental studies on the interaction of soft X-rays on gas-phase and solid-phase amino acids and nucleobases in an attempt to verify if these molecules (supposed to be formed in molecular clouds/protostellar clouds) can survive long enough to be observed or even to be found in meteorites. Measurements have been undertaken employing 150 eV photons under high vacuum conditions at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS). The produced ions from the gas-phase experiments (glycine, adenine and uracil) have been mass/charge analyzed by time-of-flight spectrometer. The analysis of solid phase samples (glycine, DL-proline, DL-valine, adenine and uracil) were performed by a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer coupled to the experimental chamber. Photodissociation cross sections and halflives were determined and extrapolated to astrophysical environments. The nucleobases photostability was up to two orders of magnitude higher than for the amino acids.

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References

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Elsila, J., et al. 2009, Met. & Planetary Science, In press
Kissel, J. & Krueger, F. R. 1987, Nature, 326, 755
Kuan, Y.-J., Charnley, S. B., Huang, H.-C., Tseng, W.-L., & Kisiel, Z. 2003, ApJ, 593, 848
Pilling, S., Andrade, D. P. P., Marinho, R. T., et al. 2009, A&A, to be submited
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