Stardust and comets - art. no. 66940G

Burchell, Mark J. (2007) Stardust and comets - art. no. 66940G. In: Hoover, Richard B. and Levin, Gilbert V. and Rozanov, Alexei Y. and Davies, Paul C., eds. Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology 10: 6694 (Proceedings of Spie). Proceedings of SPIE, 6694 (10). Society of Photo Optical , United States, G6940-G6940. ISBN 0819468428 . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The NASA Stardust mission to comet 81P/Wild-2 returned to Earth in January 2006 carrying captured cometary dust grains. Analysis of these grains is permitting an extensive study of cometary composition to be carried out. This includes identifying both the mineral and organic content of the captured material. Based on this, the picture emerges of a comet whose component materials have a diverse origin and which has not undergone any extensive aqueous alteration, has a nitrogen rich organic history, may contain amines and at least 1 amino acid and has organics which in some respects resemble interplanetary dust particles and meteorites, in others resemble one and not the other, and in yet others are distinct from both. In terms of astrobiology, comets as a source of organic materials for the inner Solar System clearly have a role to play, but this cannot be fully assessed based on the history of just one comet nucleus. Nevertheless, the positive identification of a range of organic materials in this comet significantly moves forward the discussion of organic materials and comets.

Item Type: Book section
Additional information: Editor: Hoover, RB Conference on Istruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology X AUG 28-30, 2007 San Diego, CA
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences > Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Mark Burchell
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2008 12:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2014 10:35
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