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16 O/ 18 O ratio in water in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko measured with the Rosetta/ROSINA double-focusing mass spectrometer

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Schroeder I Isaac R. H. G., Altwegg Kathrin, Balsiger Hans, Berthelier Jean-Jacques, De Keyser Johan, Fiethe Björn, Fuselier Stephen A., Gasc Sébastien, Gombosi Tamas I., Rubin Martin, Sémon Thierry, Tzou Chia-Yu, Wampfler Susanne F., Wurz Peter,
Project Investigation of the Solar System with in situ Mass Spectrometry
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume (Issue) 630
Page(s) A29 - A29
Title of proceedings Astronomy & Astrophysics
DOI 10.1051/0004-6361/201833806

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


The European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta accompanied the Jupiter-family comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for over 2 yr along its trajectory through the inner solar system. Between 2014 and 2016, it performed almost continuous in situ measurements of the comet’s gaseous atmosphere in close proximity to its nucleus. In this study, the 16 O/ 18 O ratio of H 2 O in the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as measured by the ROSINA DFMS mass spectrometer onboard Rosetta, was determined from the ratio of H 216 O/H 218 O and 16 OH/ 18 OH. The value of 445 ± 35 represents an ~11% enrichment of 18 O compared with the terrestrial ratio of 498.7 ± 0.1. This cometary value is consistent with the comet containing primordial water, in accordance with leading self-shielding models. These models predict primordial water to be between 5 and 20% enriched in heavier oxygen isotopes compared to terrestrial water.