Soluble organic molecules in samples of the carbonaceous asteroid (162173) Ryugu
Hiroshi Naraoka et al., Science, février 2023.
The present manuscript presents the initial results of an international consortium, including for France, the "Institut de planétologie et d'astrophysique de Grenoble" (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes/CNES), the "Institut de chimie physique" (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay) and the "Laboratoire de physique des interactions ioniques et moléculaires" (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université), having carried out the analysis of the accessible soluble organic matter in 3 grains. The Ryugu samples bear traces of the origin of the solar system and offer a view of the organic matter available at the origin of life. They contain a variety of molecules containing the CHNOS atoms, formed by methylation, hydration, hydroxylation and sulfurization reactions. The amino acids, aliphatic amines, carboxylic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic nitrogen compounds detected are compatible with an abiotic origin. These compounds are probably the result of an aqueous reaction within the primordial Ryugu and show strong similarities with the Ivuna-type meteorites already existing in terrestrial collections.
The work is highlighted by the CNRS.