Radiolysis of Amino Acids by Heavy and Energetic Cosmic Ray Analogs in Simulated Space Environments

In this work, we studied the stability of the glycine molecule in the crystalline zwitterion form, known as {alpha}-glycine (+ NH3 CH2 COO− ) under action of heavy cosmic ray analogs.

The experiments were conducted in a high vacuum chamber at heavy ions accelerator GANIL, in Caen, France. The samples were bombarded at two temperatures (14 K and 300 K) by 58 Ni 11+ ions of 46 MeV until the final fluence of 10 13 ions cm−2 .

The chemical evolution of the sample was evaluated in-situ using Fourrier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. The bombardment at 14 K produced several daughter species such as OCN− , CO, CO2 , and CN− . The results also suggest the appearing of peptide bonds during irradiation but this must be confirmed by further experiments. The halflives of glycine in Interstellar Medium were estimated to be 7.8 × 10 3 years (300 K) and 2.8 × 10 3 years (14 K).

In the Solar System the values were 8.4 × 10 2 years (300 K) and 3.6 × 10 3 years (14 K). It is believed that glycine could be present in space environments that suffered aqueous changes such as the interior of comets, meteorites and planetesimals. This molecule is present in proteins of all alive beings. So, studying its stability in these environments provides further understanding about the role of this specie in the prebiotic chemistry on Earth.

Radiolysis of Amino Acids by Heavy and Energetic Cosmic Ray Analogs in Simulated Space Environments: α -Glycine Zwitterion Form

Williamary Portugal (1), Sergio Pilling (1), Philippe Boduch (2), Hermann Rothard (2), Diana P. P. Andrade (1 and 2) ((1) Universidade do Vale do Paraiba (UNIVAP), (2) Centre de Recherche sur les Ions, les Matériaux et la Photonique CIMAP (GANIL/CEA/CNRS/ENSICAEN/Université de Caen Basse- Normandie)) (Submitted on 3 Apr 2014)

Comments: 28 pages, 12 figures, 9 tables. Accepted to be published at Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS)

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1404.0894 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1404.0894v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Sergio Pilling [v1] Thu, 3 Apr 2014 13:11:37 GMT (1151kb)

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