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The Organic Content of the Tagish Lake Meteorite

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Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2236-2239
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062614

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Abstract

The Tagish Lake meteorite fell last year on a frozen lake in Canada and may provide the most pristine material of its kind. Analyses have now shown this carbonaceous chondrite to contain a suite of soluble organic compounds (∼100 parts per million) that includes mono- and dicarboxylic acids, dicarboximides, pyridine carboxylic acids, a sulfonic acid, and both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. The insoluble carbon exhibits exclusive aromatic character, deuterium enrichment, and fullerenes containing “planetary” helium and argon. The findings provide insight into an outcome of early solar chemical evolution that differs from any seen so far in meteorites.

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