24/7 Space News
Organic compounds in asteroids formed in colder regions of space
file illustration only
Organic compounds in asteroids formed in colder regions of space
by Staff Writers
Perth, Australia (SPX) 26, 2023

Analysis of organic compounds - called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - extracted from the Ryugu asteroid and Murchison meteorite has found that certain PAHs likely formed in the cold areas of space between stars rather than in hot regions near stars as was previously thought. The findings open new possibilities for studying life beyond Earth and the chemistry of objects in space.

The only Australian members of an international research team, scientists from Curtin's WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre (WA-OIGC) carried out controlled burnings of plants to produce PAHs.

ARC Laureate Fellow John Curtin Distinguished Professor Kliti Grice, director of WA-OIGC, said PAHs are organic compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen that are common on Earth but are also found in celestial bodies like asteroids and meteorites.

"We performed controlled burn experiments on Australian plants, which were isotopically compared to PAHs from fragments of the Ryugu asteroid that were returned to Earth by a Japanese spacecraft in 2020, and the Murchison meteorite that landed in Australia in 1969. The bonds between light and heavy carbon isotopes in the PAHs were analysed to reveal the temperature at which they were formed," Professor Grice said.

"Select PAHs from Ryugu and Murchison were found to have different characteristics: the smaller ones likely in cold outer space, while bigger ones probably formed in warmer environments, like near a star or inside a celestial body."

Study co-author Dr Alex Holman, also from WA-OIGC, said understanding the isotopic composition of PAHs helps unravel the conditions and environments in which these molecules were created, offering insights into the history and chemistry of celestial bodies like asteroids and meteorites.

"This research gives us valuable insights into how organic compounds form beyond Earth and where they come from in space," Dr Holman said.

"The use of high-tech methods and creative experiments has shown that select PAHs on asteroids can be formed in cold space."

Research Report:Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in samples of Ryugu formed in the interstellar medium

Related Links
Curtin University
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
Hera's wings of power
Paris (ESA) Dec 26, 2023
The solar wings that will power ESA's Hera asteroid mission for planetary defence as it ventures out to meet the Dimorphos asteroid have been cleared for flight. As part of its current test campaign at ESA's ESTEC Test Centre in the Netherlands, the spacecraft commanded the deployment of the wings one at a time, as it will do in space directly after launch - known as a 'hot deployment'. The van-sized spacecraft is equipped with two 5-m long wings, made up of three hinged panels each. This adds up ... read more

From the Moon's south pole to an ice-covered ocean world 2024 will be a major year in space

Major Milestones Achieved Through the ISS National Lab in 2023

Russia, NASA agree to continue joint ISS flights until 2025

NASA Outlines Future Strategy for Post-ISS Microgravity Research Labs in LEO

InRange to enhance global launches with Viasat and Safran partnership

China's 63rd rocket launch of year puts four satellites into orbit

SpaceX successfully launches two rockets hours apart

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Successfully Launches USSF-52 Mission

NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures a Martian Day, From Dawn to Dusk

Still hanging in there: Sols 4043-4044:

Sols 4045-4055: This Plan is STUFFED

Recent volcanism on Mars reveals a planet more active than previously thought

Shenzhou XVII crew conducts 1st spacewalk

Spacewalk completes repairs, marks milestone for young astronaut

Rocket arrives at launch site for Tianzhou-7 cargo mission

Shenzhou XVII astronauts set for their first spacewalk

Russia space agency official held over multi-million euro fraud

NASA Enhances Aerospace Innovation with New SBIR Ignite Phase I Awards

Measuring how space creates jobs and prosperity on Earth

Bayanat and Yahsat to Merge, Forming AI-Driven Space Technology Powerhouse, Space42

GESTRA space radar successfully enters final test phase

AWS Ground Station expands to Alaska, enhancing global satellite network

Above: Space revolutionary micro-g platform set for 2024 mission

Studying Combustion and Fire Safety

A carbon-lite atmosphere could be a sign of water and life on other terrestrial planets

Scientists discover new way to identify liquid water on exoplanets

Astrophysicists publish Kepler Giant Planet Search, an aid to 'figure out where to find life'

Earth may have had all the elements needed for life within it all along

NASA's Juno spacecraft prepares for Jupiter moon Io close flyby

Jupiter was targeted by exoplanet hunter

The PI's Perspective: The Long Game

Webb rings in the holidays with the ringed planet Uranus

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.