Scientists have found a large amount of organic substances on the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. Its chemical composition turned out to be identical to the liquid component of meteorites and Saturn’s rings.
Organics in the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet
Scientists from the University of Bern investigated the chemical composition of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For this, they used data obtained by the ROSINA-DFMS instrument located on board the Rosetta spacecraft. This instrument is a double-focus mass spectrograph capable of seeing ions and neutral molecules.
The spacecraft was located at a distance of about 200 m from the surface of this celestial body, and it managed to analyze a large mass of gas and dust emissions, which are activated as the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet approaches the Sun. The results of these studies showed the presence of an unexpectedly wide range of organic substances.
There is naphthalene on the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. This is not only what many people get dreams of imperial greatness from, but also an important component of biological processes. There are also a lot of cyclic hydrocarbons there. For example, scientists have identified benzoic acid, which is widely used to create odors.
However, the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet not only smells interesting. It contains a wide range of substances with so-called prebiotic activity. More simply, it is with them that the synthesis of molecules that can evolve begins. For example, there is formaldehyde here. And all this testifies in favor of the theory that it was comets that could once have brought the components of life to Earth.
The joint origin of all organic molecules
It is much more important that comets retain within themselves the chemical composition that was characteristic of the Solar System at the beginning of its existence. Therefore, it turned out to be very interesting to compare the found organic matter with other samples of the space.
In particular, it turned out that the resulting composition is almost identical to the soluble organic component of meteorites. Moreover, it is very similar to the one found by the Cassini spacecraft in the inner part of Saturn’s rings.
All this indicates that at the time when the Solar System was a gas-dust disk around the newborn Sun, organic matter was already present in it. This is in good agreement with the theory that the synthesis of such substances can occur in outer space.
Moreover, the organic matter in the cloud was distributed relatively unevenly. There were no separate areas where their synthesis would take place independently. That is, all organic matter in the Solar System has a common origin.
According to Рhys.org
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