Krypton isotopes and noble gas abundances in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  04 Jul 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 7, eaar6297
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6297


The Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis mass spectrometer Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer on board the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft detected the major isotopes of the noble gases argon, krypton, and xenon in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Earlier, it was found that xenon exhibits an isotopic composition distinct from anywhere else in the solar system. However, argon isotopes, within error, were shown to be consistent with solar isotope abundances. This discrepancy suggested an additional exotic component of xenon in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We show that krypton also exhibits an isotopic composition close to solar. Furthermore, we found the argon to krypton and the krypton to xenon ratios in the comet to be lower than solar, which is a necessity to postulate an addition of exotic xenon in the comet.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances