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Cometary micrometeorites and input of prebiotic compounds

Abstract : The apparition of life on the early Earth was probably favored by inputs of extraterrestrial matter brought by carbonaceous chondrite-like objects or cometary material. Interplanetary dust collected nowadays on Earth is related to carbonaceous chondrites and to cometary material. They contain in particular at least a few percent of organic matter, organic compounds (amino-acids, PAHs,...), hydrous silicates, and could have largely contributed to the budget of prebiotic matter on Earth, about 4 Ga ago. A new population of cometary dust was recently discovered in the Concordia Antarctic micrometeorite collection. These "Ultracarbonaceous Antarctic Micrometeorites" (UCAMMs) are dominated by deuterium-rich and nitrogen-rich organic matter. They seem related to the "CHON" grains identified in the comet Halley in 1986. Although rare in the micrometeorites flux (<5% of the micrometeorites), UCAMMs could have significantly contributed to the input of prebiotic matter. Their content in soluble organic matter is currently under study.
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Contributor : Emilie Bonnardel <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 11:08:03 AM
Last modification on : Monday, November 23, 2020 - 11:24:02 AM

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C. Engrand. Cometary micrometeorites and input of prebiotic compounds. Colloquium of the CNRS Interdisciplinary Initiative Planetary Environments and Origins of Life, Nov 2012, Paris, France. BIO Web of Conferences (2), E D P SCIENCES, pp.03003, 2014, EPOV 2012: FROM PLANETS TO LIFE - COLLOQUIUM OF THE CNRS INTERDISCIPLINARY INITIATIVE PLANETARY ENVIRONMENTS AND ORIGINS OF LIFE, 978-2-7598-1180-9. ⟨10.1051/bioconf/20140203003⟩. ⟨in2p3-01078768⟩



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