Krypton Isotopes and Noble Gas Abundances in the Coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

ESA_Rosetta_OSIRIS_ColourImage Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Using the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) of the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) onboard ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, a team of researchers detected the major isotopes of the noble gases argon, krypton, and xenon in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Earlier studies of the comet’s coma revealed that xenon exhibits an isotopic composition distinct from anywhere else in the solar system. In this work, by analyzing the relative noble gas abundances, argon isotopes were shown to be consistent with solar isotope abundances, and this discrepancy suggested an additional exotic component of xenon in comet 67P/C-G. READ MORE »

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