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Solar System Connections to the Organic Material In the ISMThe organic component of the interstellar medium (ISM) has relevance to the formation of the early solar nebula, since our solar system formed out of ISM material. Comparisons of near infrared spectra of the diffuse ISM dust with those of primitive solar system bodies (such as comets and meteorites) show a remarkable similarity, suggesting that perhaps some of the interstellar organic material made its way, unaltered, into our solar system. Tracing the interstellar organic material is necessary to understand how these materials may be important links in the development of prebiotic phenomena. Studies of the ISM reveal that the organic refractory component of the diffuse ISM is largely hydrocarbon in nature, possessing little N or O, with carbon distributed between the aromatic and aliphatic forms. There is a strong similarity in the near IR spectra of the diffuse ISM (the 3.4 micron hydrocarbon bands) and those seen in the Murchison and Orgueil meteorites, however, detailed comparisons at longer wavelengths reveal critical dissimilarities. Here we will present comparisons and discussion of relevant spectra. As we continue to explore, we will gain insight into the connection between planetesimals in the solar system and chemistry in the dusty space between the stars.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pendleton, Yvonne J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
The IAU General Assembly
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 344-58-12-09
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.