Carbon isotopic ratios of amino acids in Stardust-returned samples


Jamie E. Elsila,, Daniel P. Glavin,, and Jason P. Dworkin, Astrochemistry Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 691.0, Greenbelt, MD 20905
NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned to Earth samples from comet 81P/Wild 2 in January 2006. Preliminary examinations revealed the presence of a suite of organic compounds including several amines and amino acids, but the origin of these compounds could not be firmly established. Here, we present the carbon isotopic ratios of glycine and ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA), the two most abundant amino acids observed, in Stardust-returned foil samples measured by gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry coupled with quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QMS/IRMS).