ASP Conference Series, Vol. 213
Modeling indicates that interplanetary dust particles near 10 um in size contribute the bulk of the exogenous organic matter to Earth. To assess the importance of this contribution, we examined interplanetary particles about 10 um in size collected by NASA from the Earth’s stratosphere. We find that typical IDPs have carbon contents ranging from a few volume-percent up to 90 volume-percent, and that 10 of 12 interplanetary particles contain an organic component with a Carbon X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure spectrum similar to that of the acid insoluble organic extract from the carbonaceous meteorite Murray. By FTIR we detected the C-H2 and C-H3 stretching vibrations of aliphatic hydrocarbons in 8 of 11 interplanetary particles examined. Interplanetary dust near 10 um in size is estimated to contribute more than 6 tons of organic matter to the surface of Earth annually.
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