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Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination III: Infrared spectroscopic analysis of interstellar dust candidates

Abstract : Under the auspices of the Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination, picokeystones extracted from the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector were examined with synchrotron Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy to establish whether they contained extraterrestrial organic material. The picokeystones were found to be contaminated with varying concentrations and speciation of organics in the native aerogel, which hindered the search for organics in the interstellar dust candidates. Furthermore, examination of the picokeystones prior to and post X-ray microprobe analyses yielded evidence of beam damage in the form of organic deposition or modification, particularly with hard X-ray synchrotron X-ray fluorescence. From these results, it is clear that considerable care must be taken to interpret any organics that might be in interstellar dust particles. For the interstellar candidates examined thus far, however, there is no clear evidence of extraterrestrial organics associated with the track and/or terminal particles. However, we detected organic matter associated with the terminal particle in Track 37, likely a secondary impact from the Al-deck of the sample return capsule, demonstrating the ability of synchrotron FTIR to detect organic matter in small particles within picokeystones from the Stardust interstellar dust collector.
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https://hal-univ-lyon1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02351071
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 11:40:31 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - 2:20:02 PM

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Hans A. Bechtel, George J. Flynn, Carlton Allen, David Anderson, Asna Ansari, et al.. Stardust Interstellar Preliminary Examination III: Infrared spectroscopic analysis of interstellar dust candidates. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Wiley, 2014, 49 (9, SI), pp.1548--1561. ⟨10.1111/maps.12125⟩. ⟨hal-02351071⟩

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