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Evidence in meteorites of former life; the organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites are similar to those found in marine sediments

, : Evidence in meteorites of former life; the organic compounds in carbonaceous chondrites are similar to those found in marine sediments. Pages 138-165 1966

The history of research on meteoritic hydrocarbons and the controversy as to their significance are reviewed. Analyses of extracts of terrestrial sediments indicate that some may be used as biological indicators. Similarities between terrestrial and meteoritic extracts would constitute evidence that the meteorites were either contaminated or part of a parent body that supported life. Experimental procedure is described and results tabulated, with mass spectroscopy emphasized. Aromatic hydrocarbons are identified as common constituents of both meteoritic and terrestrial extracts. Data provide evidence against significant contamination. Many similarities of benzene extracts of carbonacous chondrites to extracts of terrestrial marine sediments are demonstrated and give evidence of biological activity in the parent body.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1963.tb13408.x

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