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Origins 2011 – Abstracts

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O7b: Contributed Orals – Past and Present Solar System (continued)
Time: Thursday, 07/Jul/2011: 3:15pm - 4:00pm
Session Chair: Daniela Lazzaro
Location: Auditorium Pasteur


Pre-Biotic Organic Matter from Comets and Asteroids

George Flynn, Sue Wirick

Dept. of Physics, SUNY-Plattsburgh, United States of America

We characterized the organic matter in particles from comet Wild 2, sampled by NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, and comet Grigg-Skjellerup, target of a NASA stratospheric dust collection. The organic/silicate ratio is larger than in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Both the direct delivery by comet impacts and accretion of cometary dust contributed organic matter, including aliphatic hydrocarbons (C-H2 and C-H3), C=C, and C=O, to the surface of the early Earth.

The chemical structure of insoluble organic matter in carbonaceous meteorites

Sylvie Derenne1, François Robert2

1BioEMCo, UMR CNRS 7618, UPMC, France; 2UMR CNRS 7202, MNHN, France

Carbonaceous meteorites are the most primitive objects of the solar system. They exhibit significant carbon contents mainly occurring as insoluble organic matter (IOM), might be the first OM available on early Earth for life. The chemical structure of this IOM was investigated through a combination of various methods aiming at building up a statistical model for this molecular structure. Extraterrestrial signatures and information on the chronology of IOM formation will also be reported.

New Insights into Comets Provided by an Earth-Based Observational Campaign of the EPOXI Mission Target, 103P/Hartley 2

Karen Meech, EPOXI Earth-based team

University of Hawaii, United States of America

Earth- and space-based observations provide synergistic information for space missions with data from instruments, at wavelengths and over timescales not possible during a fast flyby. A consortium of over 200 astronomers using 51 telescopes from 11 countries and 7 space facilities combined to form a comprehensive overview of comet 103P/Hartley 2, the target of the EPOXI mission flyby on 4 Nov. 2010. This paper summarizes the Earth-campaign results, and inferred new comet activity paradigms.