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Title: ORIGIN OF MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN COMET 67P/CHURYUMOV–GERASIMENKO

Abstract

Molecular oxygen has been detected in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with abundances in the 1%–10% range by the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis-Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer instrument on board the Rosetta spacecraft. Here we find that the radiolysis of icy grains in low-density environments such as the presolar cloud may induce the production of large amounts of molecular oxygen. We also show that molecular oxygen can be efficiently trapped in clathrates formed in the protosolar nebula (PSN), and that its incorporation as crystalline ice is highly implausible, because this would imply much larger abundances of Ar and N{sub 2} than those observed in the coma. Assuming that radiolysis has been the only O{sub 2} production mechanism at work, we conclude that the formation of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is possible in a dense and early PSN in the framework of two extreme scenarios: (1) agglomeration from pristine amorphous icy grains/particles formed in ISM and (2) agglomeration from clathrates that formed during the disk’s cooling. The former scenario is found consistent with the strong correlation between O{sub 2} and H{sub 2}O observed in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s coma while the latter scenario requires that clathrates formed from ISM icy grains thatmore » crystallized when entering the PSN.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]; ; ; ;  [2];  [3]; ; ; ;  [4];  [5];
  1. Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388, Marseille (France)
  2. Laboratoire de Chimie Théorique, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRS UMR 7616, F-75252 Paris CEDEX 05 (France)
  3. Royal Institute for Space Aeronomy, 3 Avenue Circulaire, Brussels (Belgium)
  4. Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)
  5. Department of Astronomy and Carl Sagan Institute, Space Sciences Building Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654313
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 823; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8205
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; AGGLOMERATION; CLATHRATES; COMETS; CORRELATIONS; DENSITY; IONS; MASS; MASS SPECTROMETERS; MOLECULES; ORBITS; ORIGIN; OXYGEN; RADIOLYSIS; SOLAR NEBULA; SOLIDS; SPACE VEHICLES; TRAPPING; WATER

Citation Formats

Mousis, O., Ronnet, T., Brugger, B., Vernazza, P., Ozgurel, O., Pauzat, F., Ellinger, Y., Markovits, A., Maggiolo, R., Wurz, P., Altwegg, K., Bieler, A., Rubin, M., Lunine, J. I., Luspay-Kuti, A., and Mandt, K. E., E-mail: olivier.mousis@lam.fr. ORIGIN OF MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN COMET 67P/CHURYUMOV–GERASIMENKO. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41.
Mousis, O., Ronnet, T., Brugger, B., Vernazza, P., Ozgurel, O., Pauzat, F., Ellinger, Y., Markovits, A., Maggiolo, R., Wurz, P., Altwegg, K., Bieler, A., Rubin, M., Lunine, J. I., Luspay-Kuti, A., & Mandt, K. E., E-mail: olivier.mousis@lam.fr. ORIGIN OF MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN COMET 67P/CHURYUMOV–GERASIMENKO. United States. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41
Mousis, O., Ronnet, T., Brugger, B., Vernazza, P., Ozgurel, O., Pauzat, F., Ellinger, Y., Markovits, A., Maggiolo, R., Wurz, P., Altwegg, K., Bieler, A., Rubin, M., Lunine, J. I., Luspay-Kuti, A., and Mandt, K. E., E-mail: olivier.mousis@lam.fr. Wed . "ORIGIN OF MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN COMET 67P/CHURYUMOV–GERASIMENKO". United States. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41.
@article{osti_22654313,
title = {ORIGIN OF MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN COMET 67P/CHURYUMOV–GERASIMENKO},
author = {Mousis, O. and Ronnet, T. and Brugger, B. and Vernazza, P. and Ozgurel, O. and Pauzat, F. and Ellinger, Y. and Markovits, A. and Maggiolo, R. and Wurz, P. and Altwegg, K. and Bieler, A. and Rubin, M. and Lunine, J. I. and Luspay-Kuti, A. and Mandt, K. E., E-mail: olivier.mousis@lam.fr},
abstractNote = {Molecular oxygen has been detected in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with abundances in the 1%–10% range by the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis-Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer instrument on board the Rosetta spacecraft. Here we find that the radiolysis of icy grains in low-density environments such as the presolar cloud may induce the production of large amounts of molecular oxygen. We also show that molecular oxygen can be efficiently trapped in clathrates formed in the protosolar nebula (PSN), and that its incorporation as crystalline ice is highly implausible, because this would imply much larger abundances of Ar and N{sub 2} than those observed in the coma. Assuming that radiolysis has been the only O{sub 2} production mechanism at work, we conclude that the formation of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is possible in a dense and early PSN in the framework of two extreme scenarios: (1) agglomeration from pristine amorphous icy grains/particles formed in ISM and (2) agglomeration from clathrates that formed during the disk’s cooling. The former scenario is found consistent with the strong correlation between O{sub 2} and H{sub 2}O observed in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s coma while the latter scenario requires that clathrates formed from ISM icy grains that crystallized when entering the PSN.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22654313}, journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
issn = {2041-8205},
number = 2,
volume = 823,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {6}
}