Hydrothermal Organic Synthesis on Mars: Evidence from the Tissint Meteorite Conference Paper uri icon

DCO ID 11121/9535-4910-7678-3286-CC

in language

  • English

is Contribution to the DCO

  • NO

year of publication

  • 2014


  • The fall of the Tissint meteorite has provided a unique opportu- nity to study a minimally contaminated piece of Mars for the presence of organic carbon. Martian organic carbon has been detected previously in igneous basalts and the carbonates of ALH 84001. Analysis using Confocal Raman Imaging Spectroscopy has shown the presence of inclusions in maskelynite that contain macromolecular organic material similar in its characteristics to that found in other Martian basalts. NanoSIMS and ToFSIMS analysis coupled with GCMS have revealed an inventory of aliphatic and aromatic organic compounds indigenous to the meteorite that includes compounds containing –CH, - CN, -CNO, -COOH, -CO, functional groups. The organic material is associated with pyrhottite, magnetite, anhydrite and clays within the inclusions. Isotope analysis of the material has shown both to contain “heavy” nitrogen and deuterium similar to that shown in previous studies of Martian D/H and N15. These results show unambiguously that Mars has an inventory of organic carbon and nitrogen containing molecules that are produced via simple abiotic hydrous chemistry with known mineral catalyst assemblies.

publication date

  • 2014


  • 5331