Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1

M. J. Burchell, J. P. Parnell, S. Bowden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

How complex organics developed is a key question in the study of the origin of life. One possibility is that existing molecules underwent shock driven synthesis into more complex forms. This could have occurred during high speed impacts onto planetary surfaces. Such impacts may also break apart existing complex molecules. Here we consider the case of impacts on icy bodies where existing organic molecules are frozen into the ice. As described in an earlier paper [1], a suite of 3 molecules were used; β,β carotene, stearic acid and anthracene. They have a range of origins (biological to abiological) and masses (178-536 daltons). They were mixed together and frozen in a water ice layer at 160 K. The ice targets were then impacted by stainless steel projectiles. The ejecta from the shots were collected at various angles of ejection and later analyzed by UV-VIS spectrometry and GC-MS. All the compounds were found in the ejecta although the concentrations varied significantly with angle of ejection [1]. In addition, some so far unidentified additional compounds were also found in the ejecta. Here the peak shock pressures in the experiments are estimated for the first time and the physical properties of the ejecta are discussed in more detail. We find for example that compared to impacts in pure water ice, the cratering efficiency in the organic rich ice is a factor of ∼4.5 times greater and the fraction of material removed as low angle spall is reduced. We also discuss the implications for application to space missions such as LCROSS to the Moon.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter
Pages871-874
Number of pages4
Volume1195
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
EventConference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, 2009 APS SCCM - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: 28 Jun 20093 Jul 2009

Conference

ConferenceConference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, 2009 APS SCCM
CountryUnited States
CityNashville, TN
Period28/06/093/07/09

Fingerprint

organic compounds
ejecta
ice
shock
chemistry
ejection
LCROSS (satellite)
molecules
planetary surfaces
cratering
carotene
space missions
anthracene
moon
water
shot
projectiles
stainless steels
physical properties
high speed

Keywords

  • Ice
  • Impact phenomena
  • Shock chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Burchell, M. J., Parnell, J. P., & Bowden, S. (2009). Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1. In Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter (Vol. 1195, pp. 871-874) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3295281

Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1. / Burchell, M. J.; Parnell, J. P.; Bowden, S.

Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. Vol. 1195 2009. p. 871-874.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Burchell, MJ, Parnell, JP & Bowden, S 2009, Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1. in Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. vol. 1195, pp. 871-874, Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, 2009 APS SCCM, Nashville, TN, United States, 28/06/09. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3295281
Burchell MJ, Parnell JP, Bowden S. Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1. In Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. Vol. 1195. 2009. p. 871-874 https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3295281
Burchell, M. J. ; Parnell, J. P. ; Bowden, S. / Shock chemistry of organic compounds frozen in ice undergoing impacts at 5 km s-1. Shock Compression of Condensed Matter - 2009 - Proceedings of the Conference of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. Vol. 1195 2009. pp. 871-874
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