A Search For Mid-IR Bands Of Amino Acids In The Perseus Molecular Cloud

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
January 19, 2023
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A Search For Mid-IR Bands Of Amino Acids In The Perseus Molecular Cloud
Tryptophan (Trp) bands: laboratory wavelengths are marked with vertical lines. Emission features assigned to these bands are indicated in the combined IC 348 ISM spectrum (red colour) and in the combined star-forming region ISM spectrum (black). Blue asterisks mark the position of strong water bands. The spectra are shifted on the vertical axis for convenience of display, only band fluxes relative to the local continuum can be deduced from these plots. — astro-ph.EP

Amino acids are building-blocks of proteins, basic constituents of all organisms and essential to life on Earth.

They are present in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites and comets, but their origin is still unknown.

We present Spitzer spectroscopic observations in the star-forming region IC 348 of the Perseus Molecular Cloud showing the possible detections of mid-IR emission lines consistent with the most intense laboratory bands of the three aromatic amino acids, tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan and the aliphatic amino acids isoleucine and glycine.

Based on these tentative identifications, preliminary estimates of column densities give values 10-100 times higher for isoleucine and glycine than for the aromatic amino acids as in some meteorites. Potential counterparts of the strongest laboratory bands of each amino acid are also found in the combined spectrum of 32 interstellar locations obtained in diverse unrelated star-forming regions.

Susana Iglesias-Groth

Comments: 8 pages, 2 figures, 1 table. Accepted Mem. this http URL. Vol. 75, 282 copyright} SAIt 2023. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:2104.12026
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2301.07252 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2301.07252v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Susana Iglesias-Groth
[v1] Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:25:18 UTC (857 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

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