Posted in Comet 67P

The ROSINA instrument team has reported the recent detection of both krypton and xenon around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko; the Rosetta space craft has been much closer to the comet over the last few weeks, making it easier to detect such rare volatiles. Because these gases do not react readily they make good tracers for the origins of the cometary material, and subsequent physical processes. Their elemental ratios and isotopic ratios can be compared to other volatile reservoirs in the Solar System that we have been able to sample, such as the Sun (through solar wind), primitive meterorites, the atmosphere of the Earth and the atmosphere of Mars.

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