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Organosulfur compounds formed by sulfur ion bombardment of astrophysical ice analogs - implications for moons, comets, and Kuiper belt objects.
Astrophys. J. Lett. 885:L40 (2019)
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Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur are the main elements involved in the solid-phase chemistry of various astrophysical environments. Among these elements, sulfur chemistry is probably the least well understood. We investigated whether sulfur ion bombardment within simple astrophysical ice analogs (originating from H2O:CH3OH:NH3, 2:1:1) could trigger the formation of complex organosulfur molecules. Over 1100 organosulfur (CHNOS) molecular formulas (12% of all assigned signals) were detected in resulting refractory residues within a broad mass range (from 100 to 900 amu, atomic mass unit). This finding indicates a diverse, rich and active sulfur chemistry that could be relevant for Kuiper Belt objects (KBO) ices, triggered by high-energy ion implantation. The putative presence of organosulfur compounds within KBO ices or on other icy bodies might influence our view on the search of habitability and biosignatures.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Comets ; Trans-neptunian Objects ; Classical Kuiper Belt Objects ; Astrochemistry ; Astrobiology ; Experimental Techniques ; Laboratory Astrophysics; Interstellar Ice; Mass-spectra; Elemental Compositions; Infrared-spectroscopy; Radiation-chemistry; Thermal Evolution; Crystalline Water; Organic-matter; Mu-m; Origin
Institute(s) Research Unit Analytical BioGeoChemistry (BGC)