Quantitative organic and light-element analysis of comet 81P/Wild 2 particles using C-, N-, and O-μ-XANES

George D. Cody*, Harald Ade, Conel M O D Alexander, Tohru Araki, Anna Butterworth, Holger Fleckenstein, George Flynn, Mary K. Gilles, Chris Jacobsen, A. L D Kilcoyne, Keiko Messenger, Scott A. Sandford, Tolek Tyliszczak, Andrew J. Westphal, Susan Wirick, Hikaru Yabuta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synchrotron-based soft X-ray micro-analysis was performed on particles extracted from the Stardust aerogel collector in order to obtain detailed organic functional group information on any organic solids captured as part of the Principal Examination suite of analyses for samples from comet 81P/Wild 2. It is observed that cometary organic carbon captured in acrogel is present in a number of different manifestations and often intimately associated with silicates. Carbon X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra reveal considerable chemical complexity in all of the organic particles studied so far. Universally, the comet 81P/Wild 2 organic particles contain low concentrations of aromatic and/or olefinic carbon relative to aliphatic and heteroatom-containing functional groups, e.g., amide, carboxyl, and alcohol/ethers. NAANES confirms the presence and assignments of these functional groups. In general, the XANES data record considerable chemical complexity across the range of organic samples currently analyzed. The atomic ratios, N/C and O/C, derived from XANES data reveal a wide range in heteroatom content; in all cases these elemental ratios are higher than that of primitive meteoritic organic matter. The wide range in chemistry, both in elemental abundances and specific organic functional groups, suggests that the comet 81P/Wild 2 organic solids may have multiple origins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume43
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative organic and light-element analysis of comet 81P/Wild 2 particles using C-, N-, and O-μ-XANES'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this