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Complex carbonaceous matter in Tissint martian meteorites give insights into the diversity of organic geochemistry on Mars

P. Schmitt-Kopplin 2023 Science Advances


Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Marco Matzka, Alexander Ruf, Benedicte Menez,Hasnaa Chennaoui Aoudjehane, Mourad Harir, Marianna Lucio, Jasmine Hertzog, Norbert Hertkorn, Régis D. Gougeon, Victor Hoffmann, Nancy W. Hinman, Ludovic Ferrière, Ansgar Greshake, Zelimir Gabelica, László Trif, and Andrew Steele

Science Advances


We report a huge organic diversity in the Tissint Mars meteorite and the sampling of several mineralogical lithologies, which revealed that the organic molecules were nonuniformly distributed in functionality and abundance. The range of organics in Tissint meteorite were abundant C3-7 aliphatic branched carboxylic acids and aldehydes, olefins, and polyaromatics with and without heteroatoms in a homologous oxidation structural continuum. Organomagnesium compounds were extremely abundant in olivine macrocrystals and in the melt veins, reflecting specific organo-synsthesis processes in close interaction with the magnesium silicates and temperature stresses, as previously observed. The diverse chemistry and abundance in complex molecules reveal heterogeneity in organic speciation within the minerals grown in the martian mantle and crust that may have evolved over geological time.