Origins of meteorite organics

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 4/9/2018


Early in the evening on 14 May 1864, a giant fireball streaked across the sky of southern France and exploded into some dozens of known fragments above the village of Orgueil. The largest piece, shown here, is a few kg and is on display at the French Museum of Natural History in Paris until January 2019. Among meteorites, the Orgueil bolide is classified as a carbonaceous chondrite because of its high carbon content, most of which is in small, dispersed regions of organic matter. Carbonaceous chondrites formed from accreting dust grains in the earliest days of the solar system. The Orgueil meteorite and others like it originated in the cool, outer reaches of the protosolar nebula, where they retained their water ice and other volatile and organic components. Those organic molecules provide key insights into essential building blocks for life on Earth, yet their origin remains contested.

Media coverage

TitleOrigins of meteorite organics
Media name/outletPhysics Today
Media typePrint
CountryUnited States
PersonsRomain Tartese