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Origin of molecular oxygen in comet 67p/churyumov-gerasimenko

Mousis, O.; Ronnet, T. LU ; Brugger, B.; Ozgurel, O.; Pauzat, F.; Ellinger, Y.; Maggiolo, R.; Wurz, P.; Vernazza, P. and Lunine, J. I., et al. (2016) In Astrophysical Journal Letters 823(2).
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
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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
2
than those observed in the coma. Assuming that radiolysis has been the only O
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
2
and H
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.

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publication status
published
subject
keywords
astrobiology, Comets: general, Comets: individual (67P/Churyumov, Gerasimenko), Methods: numerical, Solid state: volatile
in
Astrophysical Journal Letters
volume
823
issue
2
publisher
University of Chicago Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:84975047611
ISSN
2041-8205
DOI
10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
15cc2824-6acb-4b9b-8a2a-8f2c1426edbe
date added to LUP
2019-05-29 09:29:05
date last changed
2019-11-13 05:34:53
@article{15cc2824-6acb-4b9b-8a2a-8f2c1426edbe,
  abstract     = {<p><br>
                            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<br>
                            <sub>2</sub><br>
                             than those observed in the coma. Assuming that radiolysis has been the only O<br>
                            <sub>2</sub><br>
                             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<br>
                            <sub>2</sub><br>
                             and H<br>
                            <sub>2</sub><br>
                            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.<br>
                        </p>},
  articleno    = {L41},
  author       = {Mousis, O. and Ronnet, T. and Brugger, B. and Ozgurel, O. and Pauzat, F. and Ellinger, Y. and Maggiolo, R. and Wurz, P. and Vernazza, P. and Lunine, J. I. and Luspay-Kuti, A. and Mandt, K. E. and Altwegg, K. and Bieler, A. and Markovits, A. and Rubin, M.},
  issn         = {2041-8205},
  keyword      = {astrobiology,Comets: general,Comets: individual (67P/Churyumov,Gerasimenko),Methods: numerical,Solid state: volatile},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {University of Chicago Press},
  series       = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
  title        = {Origin of molecular oxygen in comet 67p/churyumov-gerasimenko},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/823/2/L41},
  volume       = {823},
  year         = {2016},
}