The Nitrogen Isotopic Composition of Meteoritic HCN

Sandra Pizzarello

The Astrophysical Journal Letters
ApJ 796 L25. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/796/2/L25
published 17 November 2014.


The findings, when evaluated viz-a-viz molecular abundances and isotopic data of meteoritic organic compounds, suggest that HCN formation could have occurred during the protracted water alteration processes known to have affected the mineralogy of many asteroidal bodies during their solar residence. This was an active synthetic stage, which likely involved simple gasses, organic molecules, their presolar precursors, as well as mineral catalysts and would have lead to the formation of molecules of differing isotopic composition, including some with solar values.