Organics captured from comet 81P/wild 2 by the stardust spacecraft

Scott A. Sandford*, Jérôme Aléon, Conel M O D Alexander, Tohru Araki, Saša Bajt, Giuseppe A. Baratta, Janet Borg, John P. Bradley, Donald E. Brownlee, John R. Brucato, Mark J. Burchell, Henner Busemann, Anna Butterworth, Simon J. Clemett, George Cody, Luigi Colangeli, George Cooper, Louis D'Hendecourt, Zahia Djouadi, Jason P. DworkinGianluca Ferrini, Holger Fleckenstein, George J. Flynn, Ian A. Franchi, Marc Fries, Mary K. Gilles, Daniel P. Glavin, Matthieu Gounelle, Faustine Grossemy, Chris Jacobsen, Lindsay P. Keller, A. L David Kilcoyne, Jan Leitner, Graciela Matrajt, Anders Meibom, Vito Mennella, Smail Mostefaoui, Larry R. Nittler, Maria E. Palumbo, Dimitri A. Papanastassiou, François Robert, Alessandra Rotundi, Christopher J. Snead, Maegan K. Spencer, Frank J. Stadermann, Andrew Steele, Thomas Stephan, Peter Tsou, Tolek Tyliszczak, Andrew J. Westphal, Sue Wirick, Brigitte Wopenka, Hikaru Yabuta, Richard N. Zare, Michael E. Zolensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

404 Scopus citations


Organics found in comet 81P/Wild 2 samples show a heterogeneous and unequilibrated distribution in abundance and composition. Some organics are similar, but not identical, to those in interplanetary dust particles and carbonaceous meteorites. A class of aromatic-poor organic material is also present. The organics are rich in oxygen and nitrogen compared with meteoritic organics. Aromatic compounds are present, but the samples tend to be relatively poorer in aromatics than are meteorites and interplanetary dust particles. The presence of deuterium and nitrogen-15 excesses suggest that some organics have an interstellar/protostellar heritage. Although the variable extent of modification of these materials by impact capture is not yet fully constrained, a diverse suite of organic compounds is present and identifiable within the returned samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1720-1724
Number of pages5
Issue number5806
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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