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Extraterrestrial hexamethylenetetramine in meteorites-a precursor of prebiotic chemistry in the inner solar system

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Title: Extraterrestrial hexamethylenetetramine in meteorites-a precursor of prebiotic chemistry in the inner solar system
Authors: Oba, Yasuhiro Browse this author
Takano, Yoshinori Browse this author
Naraoka, Hiroshi Browse this author
Furukawa, Yoshihiro Browse this author
Glavin, Daniel P. Browse this author
Dworkin, Jason P. Browse this author
Tachibana, Shogo Browse this author
Issue Date: 7-Dec-2020
Publisher: Nature Research
Journal Title: Nature communications
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Start Page: 6243
Publisher DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20038-x
Abstract: Despite extensive studies on the formation of organic molecules in various extraterrestrial environments, it still remains under debate when, where, and how such molecules were abiotically formed. A key molecule to solve the problem, hexamethylenetetramine (HMT) has not been confirmed in extraterrestrial materials despite extensive laboratory experimental evidence that it can be produced in interstellar or cometary environments. Here we report the first detection of HMT and functionalized HMT species in the carbonaceous chondrites Murchison, Murray, and Tagish Lake. While the part-per-billion level concentration of HMT in Murchison and Tagish Lake is comparable to other related soluble organic molecules like amino acids, these compounds may have eluded detection in previous studies due to the loss of HMT during the extraction processes. HMT, which can yield important molecules for prebiotic chemistry such as formaldehyde and ammonia upon degradation, is a likely precursor of meteoritic organic compounds of astrochemical and astrophysical interest. This manuscript tackles the origin of organic molecules in carbonaceous meteorites. Identifying hexamethylenetetramine in three carbonaceous meteorites, the authors propose formation from ammonia and formaldehyde by photochemical and thermal reactions in the interstellar medium, followed by the incorporation into planetary systems.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:低温科学研究所 (Institute of Low Temperature Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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