Preliminary organic compound analysis of microparticles returned from Asteroid 25143 Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission

H. Naraoka, H. Mita, K. Hamase, M. Mita, H. Yabuta, K. Saito, K. Fukushima, F. Kitajima, S. A. Sandford, T. Nakamura, T. Noguchi, R. Okazaki, K. Nagao, M. Ebihara, H. Yurimoto, A. Tsuchiyama, M. Abe, K. Shirai, M. Ueno, T. YadaY. Ishibashi, T. Okada, A. Fujimura, T. Mukai, M. Yoshikawa, J. Kawaguchi

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Microparticles recovered from the Asteroid 25143 Itokawa surface by the Hayabusa mission have been examined for the occurrence of soluble organic compounds. After five individual particles (∼50 to 100 μm in diameter) were rinsed with organic solvents on a diamond plate, two extracts were hydrolyzed with hydrochloric acid for amino acid analysis (AAA), and three extracts were combined for time of flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to look for other organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The organic compounds detected by both methods have the same concentrations as those in blank levels, indicating that indigenous organic compounds are not found in this study. Based on the sensitivities of AAA and ToF-SIMS with the reference sample analyses, the concentrations of indigenous organics in the samples are below part-per-million (ppm), if present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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