67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio

Abstract : The provenance of water and organic compounds on the Earth and other terrestrial planets has been discussed for a long time without reaching a consensus. One of the best means to distinguish between different scenarios is by determining the D/H ratios in the reservoirs for comets and the Earth’s oceans. Here we report the direct in situ measurement of the D/H ratio in the Jupiter family comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the ROSINA mass spectrometer aboard ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, which is found to be (5.3 ± 0.7) x 10-4, that is, ~3 times the terrestrial value. Previous cometary measurements and our new finding suggest a wide range of D/H ratios in the water within Jupiter family objects and preclude the idea that this reservoir is solely composed of Earth ocean-like water.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 22, 2016 - 11:10:18 AM
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Kathrin Altwegg, H. Balsiger, A. Bar-Nun, Jean-Jacques Berthelier, Andre Bieler, et al.. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015, 347 (6220), 3 p. ⟨10.1126/science.1261952⟩. ⟨hal-01346024⟩

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