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Title: PROTOSOLAR AMMONIA AS THE UNIQUE SOURCE OF TITAN's NITROGEN

The origin of Titan's nitrogen-rich atmosphere is thought to be ammonia ice, but this has not yet been confirmed. Furthermore, it is uncertain whether the building blocks of Titan formed within the Saturnian subnebula or in the colder protosolar nebula (PSN). Recent measurements of the nitrogen isotope ratio in cometary ammonia, combined with evolutionary constraints on the nitrogen isotopes in Titan's atmosphere provide firm evidence that the nitrogen in Titan's atmosphere must have originated as ammonia ice formed in the PSN under conditions similar to that of cometary formation. This result has important implications for the projected D/H ratio in cometary methane, nitrogen isotopic fractionation in the PSN and the source of nitrogen for Earth's atmosphere.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78228 (United States)
  2. Université de Franche-Comté, Institut UTINAM, CNRS/INSU, UMR 6213, Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Besancon (France)
  3. Cornell University, Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Ithaca, NY (United States)
  4. Observatoire de Paris, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365785
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMMONIA; ASTROPHYSICS; COMETS; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; FRACTIONATION; LIMITING VALUES; METHANE; NITROGEN ISOTOPES; PLANETS; PROTOSTARS; SATELLITE ATMOSPHERES; SATELLITES; SOLAR SYSTEM EVOLUTION