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Report No.

Alteration of organic compounds of interstellar origin in the solar system; Simulation experiments on the ground and in space

Kobayashi, Kensei*; Kawamoto, Yukinori*; Sarker, P. K.*; Ono, Keisuke*; Kuwahara, Hideharu*; Obayashi, Yumiko*; Kaneko, Takeo*; Mita, Hajime*; Yabuta, Hikaru*; Yoshida, Satoshi*; Narumi, Issei; Kanda, Kazuhiro*; Yokobori, Shinichi*; Yamagishi, Akihiko*

A wide variety of complex organic compounds including precursors of amino acids have been detected in carbonaceous chondrites and comets. It was suggested that organics in them were formed in quite cold environments, such as interstellar space. Irradiation of frozen mixture of possible interstellar molecules with high-energy particles gave complex amino acid precursors with high molecular weights. Such interstellar complex molecules would be altered by cosmic rays and solar light in proto-solar nebula and interplanetary space before the delivery to the Earth by such extraterrestrial bodies as space dusts. We examined possible alteration of amino acids and their precursors by irradiation with photons and heavy ions. Complex amino acid precursors with high molecular weights could be formed in simulated dense cloud environments, and they were much more stable than free amino acids against radiation. They could have been delivered to the Earth by space dusts. We are planning to collect space dusts and expose amino acids and their precursors in the Japan Experimental Module / Exposed Facility (JEM/EF) of the ISS in the Tanpopo Mission.



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