Do comets have a role in prebiotic photochemistry? Yes, it is highly probable that comets, especially the dust which constitutes these beautiful objects that populate our planetary system and probably others, do play a key role in prebiotic photochemistry. The "incessant rain"of interplanetary dust particles, of cometary origin, on Earth implies a water and organics co-delivery. In addition, cometary minerals represent solid catalysts that can efficiently drive chemical pathways for the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Cometary water and organics contribution placed side by side to an energy source may have contributed to the emergence of life on Earth. We describe cometary dust as: (1) brought to Earth by the Stardust/NASA space probe fromthe coma of comet 81P/Wild 2 and laid bare in our laboratories; (2) observed in situ byRosetta/ESA, which escorted comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko inbound to and outboundfrom perihelion for about two years. We delineate possible paths for the role of cometary dust in the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and solid-state molecules and its reactivity at the atomic and molecular level; more in general, we describe the potential role of comets in prebiotic photochemistry.

CHAPTER 8: Comets, Do They Have a Role in Prebiotic Photochemistry?

Rotundi A.;Bertini I.;Inno L.;Palumbo P.
2021

Abstract

Do comets have a role in prebiotic photochemistry? Yes, it is highly probable that comets, especially the dust which constitutes these beautiful objects that populate our planetary system and probably others, do play a key role in prebiotic photochemistry. The "incessant rain"of interplanetary dust particles, of cometary origin, on Earth implies a water and organics co-delivery. In addition, cometary minerals represent solid catalysts that can efficiently drive chemical pathways for the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Cometary water and organics contribution placed side by side to an energy source may have contributed to the emergence of life on Earth. We describe cometary dust as: (1) brought to Earth by the Stardust/NASA space probe fromthe coma of comet 81P/Wild 2 and laid bare in our laboratories; (2) observed in situ byRosetta/ESA, which escorted comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko inbound to and outboundfrom perihelion for about two years. We delineate possible paths for the role of cometary dust in the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and solid-state molecules and its reactivity at the atomic and molecular level; more in general, we describe the potential role of comets in prebiotic photochemistry.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/102594
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