The nature of insoluble organic matter in Sutter’s Mill and Murchison carbonaceous chondrites: Testing the effect of x-ray computed tomography and exploring parent body organic molecular evolution

George D. Cody, Conel M. O’D. Alexander, Dionysis I. Foustoukos, Henner Busemann, Scott Eckley, Aaron S. Burton, Eve L. Berger, Michael Nuevo, Scott A. Sandford, Daniel P. Glavin, Jason P. Dworkin, Harold C. Connolly Jr, Dante S. Lauretta

Version of Record online: 27 November 2023


“This study analyzed samples of the Murchison and Sutter’s Mill carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in support of the future analysis of samples returned from the asteroid (10155) Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer) mission. Focusing specifically on the insoluble organic matter (IOM), this study establishes that a total of 1.3 g of bulk sample from a single chondritic meteorite are sufficient to obtain a wide range of cosmochemical information, including light element analysis (H, C, and N), isotopic analysis (D/H, 13C/12C, and 15N/14N), and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy for major elemental abundances. IOM isolated from the bulk meteorite samples was analyzed by light element and isotopic analysis as described above, 1H and 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and complete noble gas analyses (abundances and isotopes). The samples studied included a pair from Murchison (CM2), one of which had been irradiated with high-energy x-rays in the course of computed tomographic imaging. No differences between the irradiated and non-irradiated Murchison samples were observed in the many different chemical and spectroscopic analyses, indicating that any x-ray–derived sample damage is below levels of detection. Elemental, isotopic, and molecular spectroscopic data derived from IOM isolated from the Sutter’s Mill sample reveals evidence that this meteorite falls into the class of heated CM chondrites.”