Delivery of organics to Mars through asteroid and comet impacts

Frantseva, K., Mueller, M., ten Kate, I. L. & van der Tak, F., 2016.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Despite intensive search, the presence of organic molecules on Mars could only recently be demonstrated, through Curiosity measurements. On the surface of Mars, organics are highly unstable to photodissociation, but may last longer in the subsurface. It is therefore believed that organics observable today were delivered in geologically recent times; possible parent bodies are certain asteroids, comets, and/orinterplanetary dust particles.We are studying how much organics the known asteroids and comets can deliver to Mars. Comets and certain asteroids (C-class) are known to be organic rich.To this end we perform numerical gravity simulations to study impact rates on Mars within the past few Myr. We use the N-body integrator RMVS/Swifter to propagate the Sun and the eight planets from their current positions. We separately add comets and asteroids to the simulations as massless test particles, based on their current orbital distributions. In our asteroid simulations we differentiate between organic-rich (C-class) asteroids and other taxonomic types, using WISE albedo as a proxy. We expect to present first results at the meeting.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 36698879