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Chemical investigation of Titan and Triton tholinsWe report chromatographic and spectroscopic analyses of both Titan and Triton tholins, organic solids made from the plasma irradiation of 0.9:0.1 and 0.999:0.001 N2/CH4 gas mixtures, respectively. The lower CH4 mixing ratio leads to a nitrogen-richer tholin (N/C greater than 1), probably including nitrogen heterocyclic compounds. Unlike Titan tholin, bulk Triton tholin is poor in nitriles. From high-pressure liquid chromatography, ultraviolet and infrared spectroscopy, and molecular weight estimation by gel filtration chromatography, we conclude that (1) several H2O-soluble fractions, each with distinct UV and IR spectral signatures, are present, (2) these fractions are not identical in the two tholins, (3) the H2O-soluble fractions of Titan tholins do not contain significant amounts of nitriles, despite the major role of nitriles in bulk Titan tholin, and (4) the H2O-soluble fractions of both tholins are mainly molcules containing about 10 to 50 (C + N) atoms. We report yields of amino acids upon hydrolysis of Titan and Triton tholins. Titan tholin is largely insoluble in the putative hydrocarbon lakes or oceans on Titan, but can yield the H2O-soluble species investigated here upon contact with transient (e.g., impact-generated) liquid water.
Document ID
19950031838
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Mcdonald, Gene D. (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Thompson, W. R. (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Heinrich, Michael (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Khare, Bishun N. (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Sagan, Carl (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: ICARUS
Volume: 108
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0019-1035
Subject Category
ASTRONOMY
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-3273
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-1896
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other