02/25/2009 - Interstellar and Early Solar System Organics in Samples from Comet Wild 2


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Scott Sandford, NASA Ames Space Science Division

The Stardust mission successfully returned samples from Comet Wild 2 in 2006. Studies of these samples have confirmed the presence of organics, some of which appear to be similar to those found in meteorites and some of which looks unlike anything seen in extraterrestrial materials before. The presence of D and 15N excesses in many of the organics suggests they have an interstellar chemical heritage. The nature of these organics, and their possible relationship to interstellar environments will be discussed.

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