Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Globule, Nanoglobule

  • Bradley De Gregorio
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_652-3


In meteoritic chemistry, globules or nanoglobules are microscopic, hollow (but sometimes solid), spherical to irregular organic grains present in the fine-grained matrix of carbonaceous chondrites (Fig. 1). Organic globules have also been reported in ordinary chondrites, Antarctic micrometeorites, interplanetary dust particles, and comets. Globule diameters range from less than 100 up to 2 μm. Many are enriched in deuterium and/or nitrogen-15 relative to the surrounding bulk insoluble organic matter, suggesting formation in extremely cold (less than 20 K) molecular cloud or solar nebula environments where such isotopic enrichments of organic matter are theorized to occur (Nakamura-Messenger et al. 2006). Some organic globules may also have formed on asteroid and/or planetesimal parent bodies through organic polymerization, such as the formose reaction, during aqueous processing (Cody et al. 2011).


Nitrogen Isotope Molecular Cloud Isotopic Enrichment Parent Body Solar Nebula 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Claus G, Nagy B (1961) A microbiological examination of some carbonaceous chondrites. Nature 192:594–596CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Cody GD et al (2011) Establishing a molecular relationship between chondritic and cometary organic solids. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:19171–19176CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Garvie LAJ, Buseck PR (2004) Nanosized carbon-rich grains in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Earth Planet Sci Lett 224:431–439CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Nakamura K et al (2002) Hollow organic globules in the Tagish Lake meteorite as possible products of primitive organic reactions. Int J Astrobiol 1:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nakamura-Messenger K et al (2006) Organic globules in the Tagish Lake meteorite: remnants of the protosolar disk. Science 314:1439–1442CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and Technology DivisionU.S. Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA