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Proceedings Paper

Comets as parent bodies of CI1 carbonaceous meteorites and possible habitats of ice-microbes
Author(s): N. Chandra Wickramasinghe; Janaki T. Wickramasinghe; Jamie Wallis; Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov
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Paper Abstract

Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 November 2012
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 8521, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV, 85210Q (13 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.975979
Show Author Affiliations
N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Univ. of Buckingham (United Kingdom)
Janaki T. Wickramasinghe, Univ. of Buckingham (United Kingdom)
Jamie Wallis, Univ. of Buckingham (United Kingdom)
Richard B. Hoover, Athens State Univ. (United States)
Univ. of Buckingham (United Kingdom)
Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Paleontological Institute (Russian Federation)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8521:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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