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Cometary materials originating from interstellar ices : clues from laboratory experiments

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Authors : A. Fresneau, N. Abou Mrad, L. LS d’Hendecourt, F. Duvernay, L. Flandinet, F-R Orthous-Daunay, V. Vuitton, R. Thissen, T. Chiavassa, G. Danger.
Abstract : We use laboratory experiments to derive information on the chemistry occurring during the evolution of astrophysical ices from dense molecular clouds to interplanetary objects. Through a new strategy that consists of coupling very high resolution mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), we investigate the molecular content of the organic residues synthesized from different initial ice compositions. We also obtain information on the evolution of the soluble part of the residues after their over-irradiation. The results give insight into the role of water ice as a trapping and diluting agent during the chemical evolution. They also give information about the importance of the amount of ammonia in such ices particularly regarding its competition with the carbon chemistry. All of these results allow us to build a first mapping of the evolution of soluble organic matter based on its chemical and physical history. Furthermore, our results suggest that interstellar ices should lead to organic materials enriched in heteroatoms that present similarities with cometary materials but strongly differ from meteoritic organic material, especially in their C/N ratios.
Journal : The Astrophysical Journal 2017, 837, 168.