Soluble organic compounds in the Tagish Lake meteorite
Hilts RW, Herd CDK, Simkus DN and Slater GF (in press)
Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 49: 526–549. doi: 10.1111/maps.12272
The C2 ungrouped Tagish Lake meteorite preserves a range of lithologies, reflecting variable degrees of parent-body aqueous alteration. Here, we report on soluble organic compounds, including aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, monocarboxylic acids, and amino acids, found within specimens representative of the range of aqueous alteration. We find that differences in soluble organic compounds among the lithologies may be explained by oxidative, fluid-assisted alteration, primarily involving the derivation of soluble organic compounds from macromolecular material. In contrast, amino acids probably evolved from precursor molecules, albeit in parallel with other soluble organic compounds. Our results demonstrate the role of parent-body alteration in the modification of organic matter and generation of prebiotic compounds in the early solar system, and have implications for interpretation of the complement of soluble organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites.