Abstract

This study presents a survey of abundance distribution and isotopic composition of the ammonia found incorporated in the kerogen-like insoluble material of selected carbonaceous chondrite meteorites; the ammonia was released upon hydrothermal treatment at 300°C and 100 MPa. With the exception of Allende, a metamorphosed and highly altered stone, all the insoluble organic materials (IOM) of the meteorites analyzed released significant amounts of ammonia, which varied from over 4 μgmg-1 for the Orgueil IOM to 0.5 μgmg-1 for that of Tagish Lake; the IOM of the pristine Antarctica find GRA95229 remains the most rich in freeable ammonia with 10 μgmg-1. While the amounts of IOM bound ammonia do not appear to vary between meteorites with a recognizable trend, a possible consequence of long terrestrial exposure of some of the stones, we found that the δ15N composition of the ammonia-carrying materials is clearly distinctive of meteorite types and may reflect a preservation of the original 15N distribution of pre- and proto-solar materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume749
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2012

Keywords

  • astrochemistry
  • minor planets, asteroids: general
  • molecular data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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