Comets and Organic Molecules
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31-07-2015, 11:00 AM
Comets and Organic Molecules
An abstract from a special issue of Science on the landing of a probe on Philae:

"Comets harbor the most pristine material in our solar system in the form of ice, dust, silicates, and refractory organic material with some interstellar heritage. The evolved gas analyzer Cometary Sampling and Composition (COSAC) experiment aboard Rosetta’s Philae lander was designed for in situ analysis of organic molecules on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Twenty-five minutes after Philae’s initial comet touchdown, the COSAC mass spectrometer took a spectrum in sniffing mode, which displayed a suite of 16 organic compounds, including many nitrogen-bearing species but no sulfur-bearing species, and four compounds—methyl isocyanate, acetone, propionaldehyde, and acetamide—that had not previously been reported in comets."

You can find the abstract here (and if you have access, you can the pdf of the whole article too): http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/62...9.abstract

Organic molecules found on a comet, I can only imagine that this will make a few theist heads explode...if they were to you know...actually follow science.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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31-07-2015, 11:08 AM
RE: Comets and Organic Molecules
It looks like it is still in the "advance issue" phase, so even if you would normally have access to the pdfs (like, behind a university firewall), you may not be able to download the pdf yet.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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07-08-2015, 07:47 PM
RE: Comets and Organic Molecules
I recently watched a video about the formation of organic molecules on the earth itself, and it is a common occurrence. Figuring that the oceans are the biggest array processor we will likely ever see, enough atoms and chemicals have gotten sloshed together to come up with countless possible combinations. As I move through this topic, I may re-encounter that video. I don't remember the source at the moment.
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07-08-2015, 09:06 PM
RE: Comets and Organic Molecules
The JPL has known about this phenomenon, via radio telescopes, for a very long time, as they can see the organic molecules in the interstellar ice clouds, formed by particular types of radiation. It's nice to have direct observation by probe, especially since it found so many new types. I always think of these phenomena when the Creationists are whining about "how difficult it is" to form organic molecules in the relatively friendly environment on earth, since it happens in the least hospitable places one could imagine aside from the surface of a star or somesuch.

http://www.space.com/17681-life-building...cules.html

http://isc.astro.cornell.edu/~sloan/rese...h_ism.html

Meh... NASA and Cornell, what do they know, anyway? Tongue

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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