Organic Matter in the Enstatite Chondrite Sahara 97096 (EH3)

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
February 3, 2015
Filed under ,
Organic Matter in the Enstatite Chondrite Sahara 97096 (EH3)

The insoluble organic matter (IOM) of an unequilibrated enstatite chondrite Sahara (SAH) 97096 has been investigated using a battery of analytical techniques.

As the enstatite chondrites are thought to have formed in a reduced environment at higher temperatures than carbonaceous chondrites, they constitute an interesting comparative material to test the heterogeneities of the IOM in the solar system and to constrain the processes that could affect IOM during solar system evolution.

The SAH 97096 IOM is found in situ: as submicrometer grains in the network of fine-grained matrix occurring mostly around chondrules and as inclusions in metallic nodules, where the carbonaceous matter appears to be more graphitized. IOM in these two settings has very similar 15N and 13C; this supports the idea that graphitized inclusions in metal could be formed by metal catalytic graphitization of matrix IOM.

A detailed comparison between the IOM extracted from a fresh part and a terrestrially weathered part of SAH 97096 shows the similarity between both IOM samples in spite of the high degree of mineral alteration in the latter. The isolated IOM exhibits a heterogeneous polyaromatic macromolecular structure, sometimes highly graphitized, without any detectable free radicals and deuterium-heterogeneity and having mean H- and N-isotopic compositions in the range of values observed for carbonaceous chondrites.

It contains some submicrometer-sized areas highly enriched in 15N (15N up to 1600 permil). These observations reinforce the idea that the IOM found in carbonaceous chondrites is a common component widespread in the solar system. Most of the features of SAH 97096 IOM could be explained by the thermal modification of this main component.

Structure, composition, and location of organic matter in the enstatite chondrite Sahara 97096 (EH3)

Laurette Piani, FranOis Robert, Olivier Beyssac, Laurent Binet, Michle Bourot-Denise, Sylvie Derenne, Corentin Le Guillou, Yves Marrocchi, Smail Mostefaoui, Jean-Noel Rouzaud, Aurelien Thomen (Submitted on 1 Feb 2015)

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

Journal reference: Meteoritics and Planetary Science 47 Issue 1 pages 8-29 January 2012

DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2011.01306.x

Cite as: arXiv:1502.00216 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1502.00216v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Laurette Piani [v1] Sun, 1 Feb 2015 09:13:23 GMT (2755kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) πŸ––πŸ»