The labelling of meteoritic organic material using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation

Pearson, V. K.; Kearlsey, A. T.; Sephton, M. A. and Gilmour, I. (2007). The labelling of meteoritic organic material using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation. Planetary and Space Science, 55(10) pp. 1310–1318.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pss.2007.04.005

Abstract

We present a method for labelling and locating organic material in extraterrestrial samples in order to determine its spatial arrangement in relation to inorganic components. We have taken a suite of meteorites including carbonaceous chondrites and SNCs (Shergottite-Nakhlite- Chassignites) and attempted to locate organic material within them by labelling with using osmium tetroxide vapour impregnation. This technique is limited by the abundance of organic material within each sample, and the degree of terrestrial contamination which may contribute additional organic components or surface-contaminants that may mask indigenous organic components. Results confirm previous studies that phyllosilicates are key to organic matter accumulation in extraterrestrial environments.

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