A first look at the organic component of samples returned from the carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu

Dr. Larry Nittler

Monday, January 31, 2022 - 11:00
Thematic Seminar: Cosmochemistry
Dr. Larry Nittler, Earth and Planets Laboratory

Primitive asteroids and comets contain organic molecules and were likely the source of much pre-biotic C on Earth's surface. In December 2020, JAXA's Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned 5.4 gm of material collected from the surface of the near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu for analysis in terrestrial laboratories. Since June 2021, an international Initial Analysis Team (IAT) has been characterizing the samples through a wide array of techniques to ascertain any links with known meteorite groups and address fundamental questions of early solar system evolution. Analyses have revealed Ryugu to contain abundant organic matter and this talk will focus on initial results of the Organic Macromolecule Sub-Team of the IAT, which includes both the speaker and EPL scientists George Cody and Jens Barosch.