Ammonium salts are a reservoir of nitrogen on a cometary nucleus and possibly on some asteroids

Poch, Olivier; Istiqomah, Istiqomah; Quirico, Eric; Beck, Pierre; Schmitt, Bernard; Theulé, Patrice; Faure, Alexandre; Hily-Blant, Pierre; Bonal, Lydie; Raponi, Andrea; Ciarniello, Mauro; Rousseau, Batiste; Potin, Sandra; Brissaud, Olivier; Flandinet, Laurène; Filacchione, Gianrico; Pommerol, Antoine; Thomas, Nicolas; Kappel, David; Mennella, Vito; ... (2020). Ammonium salts are a reservoir of nitrogen on a cometary nucleus and possibly on some asteroids. Science, 367(6483), eaaw7462. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/science.aaw7462

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The measured nitrogen-to-carbon ratio in comets is lower than for the Sun, a discrepancy which could be alleviated if there is an unknown reservoir of nitrogen in comets. The nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko exhibits an unidentified broad spectral reflectance feature around 3.2 micrometers, which is ubiquitous across its surface. On the basis of laboratory experiments, weat tribute this absorption band to ammonium salts mixed with dust on the surface. The depth of the band indicates that semivolatile ammonium salts are a substantial reservoir of nitrogen in the comet, potentially dominating over refractory organic matter and more volatile species. Similar absorption features appear in the spectra of some asteroids, implying a compositional link between asteroids, comets, and the parent interstellar cloud.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Pommerol, Antoine and Thomas, Nicolas

Subjects:

500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0036-8075

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

06 May 2020 11:18

Last Modified:

10 May 2020 02:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/science.aaw7462

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.143405

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/143405

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