Halogens as tracers of protosolar nebula material in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Frederik Dhooghe 1 Johan de Keyser 2, 1 Kathrin Altwegg 3, 4 Christelle Briois 5 Hans Balsiger 3 Jean-Jacques Berthelier 6 Ursina Calmonte 3 Gaël Cessateur 1 Michael R. Combi 7 Eddy Equeter 1 Björn Fiethe 8 Nicolas Fray 9 Stephen Fuselier 10, 11 Sébastien Gasc 3 Andrew Gibbons 1, 12 Tamas I. Gombosi 13 Herbert Gunell 1 Myrtha Hässig 3, 10 Martin Hilchenbach 14 Léna Le Roy 4 Romain Maggiolo 1 Urs Mall 14 Bernard Marty 15 Eddy Neefs 1 Henri Rème 16 Martin Rubin 3 Thierry Sémon 3 Chia-Yu Tzou 3 Peter Wurz 3, 4
Abstract : We report the first in situ detection of halogens in a cometary coma, that of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Neutral gas mass spectra collected by the European Space Agencys Rosetta spacecraft during four periods of interest from the first comet encounter up to perihelion indicate that the main halogen-bearing compounds are HF, HCl and HBr. The bulk elemental abundances relative to oxygen are ∼8.9 × 10−5 for F/O, ∼1.2 × 10−4 for Cl/O, and ∼2.5 × 10−6 for Br/O, for the volatile fraction of the comet. The cometary isotopic ratios for 37Cl/35Cl and 81Br/79Br match the solar system values within the error margins. The observations point to an origin of the hydrogen halides in molecular cloud chemistry, with frozen hydrogen halides on dust grains, and a subsequent incorporation into comets as the cloud condensed and the solar system formed.
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Frederik Dhooghe, Johan de Keyser, Kathrin Altwegg, Christelle Briois, Hans Balsiger, et al.. Halogens as tracers of protosolar nebula material in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2017, 472 (2), pp.1336-1345. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stx1911⟩. ⟨insu-01575014⟩



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