Organic compounds on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko revealed by COSAC mass spectrometry

Goesmann, Fred; Rosenbauer, Helmut; Bredehoeft, Jan Hendrik; Cabane, Michel; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Gautier, Thomas; Giri, Chaitanya; Krueger, Harald; Le Roy, Léna; MacDermott, Alexandra J.; McKenna-Lawlor, Susan; Meierhenrich, Uwe J.; Munoz Caro, Guillermo M.; Raulin, Francois; Roll, Reinhard; Steele, Andrew; Steininger, Harald; Sternberg, Robert; Szopa, Cyril; Thiemann, Wolfram; ... (2015). Organic compounds on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko revealed by COSAC mass spectrometry. Science, 349(6247), aab0689-aab0689. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/science.aab0689

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Comets harbor the most pristine material in our solar system in the form of ice, dust, silicates, and refractory organic material with some interstellar heritage. The evolved gas analyzer Cometary Sampling and Composition (COSAC) experiment aboard Rosetta's Philae lander was designed for in situ analysis of organic molecules on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Twenty-five minutes after Philae's initial comet touchdown, the COSAC mass spectrometer took a spectrum in sniffing mode, which displayed a suite of 16 organic compounds, including many nitrogen-bearing species but no sulfur-bearing species, and four compounds-methyl isocyanate, acetone, propionaldehyde, and acetamide-that had not previously been reported in comets.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Le Roy, Léna


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics




American Association for the Advancement of Science




Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

15 Sep 2016 15:07

Last Modified:

18 Sep 2016 02:04

Publisher DOI:


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