Distributions of CHN compounds in meteorites record organic syntheses in the early solar systemOPEN ACCESS 

Yoshihiro Furukawa, Daisuke Saigusa, Kuniyuki Kano, Akira Uruno, Ritsumi Saito, Motoo Ito, Megumi Matsumoto, Junken Aoki, Masayuki Yamamoto & Tomoki Nakamura

Scientific Reports, Volume 13, Article number: 6683
Published: 24 April 2023


“Carbonaceous meteorites contain diverse soluble organic compounds. These compounds formed in the early solar system from volatiles accreted on tiny dust particles. However, the difference in the organic synthesis on respective dust particles in the early solar system remains unclear. We found micrometer-scale heterogeneous distributions of diverse CHN1-2 and CHN1-2O compounds in two primitive meteorites: the Murchison and NWA 801, using a surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization system connected to a high mass resolution mass spectrometer. These compounds contained mutual relationships of ± H2, ± CH2, ± H2O, and ± CH2O and showed highly similar distributions, indicating that they are the products of series reactions. The heterogeneity was caused by the micro-scale difference in the abundance of these compounds and the extent of the series reactions, indicating that these compounds formed on respective dust particles before asteroid accretion. The results of the present study provide evidence of heterogeneous volatile compositions and the extent of organic reactions among the dust particles that formed carbonaceous asteroids. The compositions of diverse small organic compounds associated with respective dust particles in meteorites are useful to understand different histories of volatile evolution in the early solar system. “