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A primordial 15N-depleted organic component detected within the carbonaceous chondrite Maribo

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Author(s)

  • Christian Vollmer
  • Jan Leitner
  • Demie Kepaptsoglou
  • Quentin M. Ramasse
  • Ashley J. King
  • Paul F. Schofield
  • Addi Bischoff
  • Tohru Araki
  • Peter Hoppe

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Publication details

JournalScientific Reports
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2020
DatePublished (current) - 20 Nov 2020
Issue number1
Volume10
Number of pages9
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We report on the detection of primordial organic matter within the carbonaceous chondrite Maribo that is distinct from the majority of organics found in extraterrestrial samples. We have applied high-spatial resolution techniques to obtain C-N isotopic compositions, chemical, and structural information of this material. The organic matter is depleted in 15N relative to the terrestrial value at around δ15N ~ -200‰, close to compositions in the local interstellar medium. Morphological investigations by electron microscopy revealed that the material consists of µm- to sub-µm-sized diffuse particles dispersed within the meteorite matrix. Electron energy loss and synchrotron X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopies show that the carbon functional chemistry is dominated by aromatic and C=O bonding environments similar to primordial organics from other carbonaceous chondrites. The nitrogen functional chemistry is characterized by C-N double and triple bonding environments distinct from what is usually found in 15N-enriched organics from aqueously altered carbonaceous chondrites. Our investigations demonstrate that Maribo represents one of the least altered CM chondrite breccias found to date and contains primordial organic matter, probably originating in the interstellar medium.

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