Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-rkxrd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-20T16:42:43.105Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A self-perpetuating catalyst for the production of complex organic molecules in protostellar nebulae

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2008

Joseph A. Nuth III
Affiliation:
Astrochemistry Laboratory, Code 691, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 email: Joseph.A.Nuth@NASA.gov
Natasha M. Johnson
Affiliation:
Astrochemistry Laboratory, Code 691, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 email: Joseph.A.Nuth@NASA.gov NASA Post Doctoral Program Research Management Associate, NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C. 20546
Steven Manning
Affiliation:
Astrochemistry Laboratory, Code 691, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 email: Joseph.A.Nuth@NASA.gov Astrobiology Summer Undergraduate Intern, Goddard Center for Astrobiology and Chemistry Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Core share and HTML view are not available for this content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

When hydrogen, nitrogen and CO are exposed to amorphous iron silicate surfaces at temperatures between 500–900 K a carbonaceous coating forms via Fischer-Tropsch type reactions. Under normal circumstances such a coating would impede or stop further reaction. However, we find that this coating is a better catalyst than the amorphous iron silicates that initiate these reactions. Formation of a self-perpetuating catalytic coating on grain surfaces could explain the rich deposits of macromolecular carbon found in primitive meteorites and would imply that protostellar nebulae should be rich in organic material.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2008

References

Ciesla, F. J. & Charnley, S. B. 2006, in: Lauretta, D. S. and McSween, H. Y. (eds.), Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, (Univ. Ariz. Press, Tucson), p. 209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fegley, B. 1993, in: Greenberg, J. M., Mendoza-Gomez, C. X., and Pirronello, V. (eds.), Chemistry of the solar nebula, The Chemistry of Life's Origins, (Kluwer, Dordrecht), p. 75Google Scholar
Hayatsu, R. & Anders, E. 1981, Top. Curr. Chem., 99, 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hill, H. G. M., Grady, C. A., Nuth, J. A., Hallenbeck, S. L., & Sitko, M. L. 2001, Proc. Natl.Acad. Sci., 98, 2182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hill, H. G. M. & Nuth, J. A. 2003, Astrobiology, 3, 291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hindermann, J. P., Hutchings, G. J., & Kienneman, A. 1993, Catal.Rev. Sci. Eng., 35, 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hornbeck, G. 1995, Planet. Space Sci., 43, 189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, N. M., Steiner, M. E., & Nuth, J. A. 2007, 38th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #2183 (LPI, Houston, TX).Google Scholar
Kress, M. E. & Tielens, A. G. G. M. 2001, MAPS 36, 75Google Scholar
Llorca, J. & Casanova, I. 2000, Meteorit. Planet. Sci., 35, 841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nuth, J. A. 1999, 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #1726 (LPI, Houston, TX).Google Scholar
Nuth, J. A., Charnley, S. B., & Johnson, N. M. 2006, in: Lauretta, D. S. and McSween, H. Y. (eds.), Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, (Univ. Ariz. Press, Tucson), p. 147Google Scholar
Nuth, J. A., Hill, H. G. M., & Kletetschka, G. 2001, Nature, 406, 275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pearce, B. B., Twigg, M. V., & Woodward, C. 1989, in: Twigg, M.W. (ed.), Catalyst Handbook, 2nd edit., (Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London), p. 340 Pizzarello, S., Cooper, G. W., & Flynn, G. J., 2006, in: Lauretta, D. S. and McSween, H. Y. (eds.), Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, (Univ. Ariz. Press, Tucson), p. 625Google Scholar
Pizzarello, S., Cooper, G. W., & Flynn, G. J. 2006, in: Lauretta, D. S. & McSween, H. Y. (eds.), Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, (Tucson: Univ. Ariz. Press), p. 625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weidenschilling, S. J. 1997, Icarus, 127, 290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zolensky, M. E., Zega, T. J., Yano, H., Wirich, S., Westfal, A. J., Weisberg, M. K., Webber, I., Warren, J. et al. 2007, Science, 314, 1735CrossRefGoogle Scholar