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Circular Polarisation in Star Forming Regions: The Origin of Homochirality?

  • P. W. Lucas (a1), J. H. Hough (a1), A. C. Chrysostomou (a1) and J. A. Bailey (a2)

Abstract

The origin of homochirality is one of the longest-standing puzzles in understanding the origins of life. In the laboratory, illumination by circularly polarised UV radiation (asymmetric photolysis) is an effective means of producing an enantiomeric excess in an otherwise racemic mix of chiral molecules. In the natural world, however, it has proven difficult to identify a suitable source of Circularly Polarised Light (CPL). Recent observations of L-excesses of 2–9% for a number of α-methyl amino acids in the Murchison meteorite and our discovery of large degrees of CPL in some star forming regions has added weight to the suggestion that the origin of homochirality is extra-terrestrial. Here we report initial modelling of the production of that CPL.

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References

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Circular Polarisation in Star Forming Regions: The Origin of Homochirality?

  • P. W. Lucas (a1), J. H. Hough (a1), A. C. Chrysostomou (a1) and J. A. Bailey (a2)

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