publication 19-October-2017 09:14:24

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

Publication date: 23 January 2015

Authors: Altwegg, K., et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 347
Issue: 6220
Year: 2015

Copyright: AAAS

Published online 10 December 2014

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) × 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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Last Update: 23 January 2015

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