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Sulfur and Hydrogen Isotope Anomalies in Meteorite Sulfonic Acids

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Science  22 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5329, pp. 1072-1074
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5329.1072

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Abstract

Intramolecular carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur isotope ratios were measured on a homologous series of organic sulfonic acids discovered in the Murchison meteorite. Mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionations were observed along with high deuterium/hydrogen ratios. The deuterium enrichments indicate formation of the hydrocarbon portion of these compounds in a low-temperature environment that is consistent with that of interstellar clouds. Sulfur-33 enrichments observed in methanesulfonic acid could have resulted from gas-phase ultraviolet irradiation of a precursor, carbon disulfide. The source of the sulfonic acid precursors may have been the reactive interstellar molecule carbon monosulfide.

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