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Journal Articles The Astrophysical journal letters Year : 2014

TOWARD A UNIQUE NITROGEN ISOTOPIC RATIO IN COMETARY ICES

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Abstract

Determination of the nitrogen isotopic ratios in different bodies of the solar system provides important information regarding the solar system's origin. We unambiguously identified emission lines in comets due to the 15NH2 radical produced by the photodissociation of 15NH3. Analysis of our data has permitted us to measure the 14N/15N isotopic ratio in comets for a molecule carrying the amine (–NH) functional group. This ratio, within the error, appears similar to that measured in comets in the HCN molecule and the CN radical, and lower than the protosolar value, suggesting that N2 and NH3 result from the separation of nitrogen into two distinct reservoirs in the solar nebula. This ratio also appears similar to that measured in Titan's atmospheric N2, supporting the hypothesis that, if the latter is representative of its primordial value in NH3, these bodies were assembled from building blocks sharing a common formation location.

Dates and versions

hal-02276041 , version 1 (02-09-2019)

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Philippe Rousselot, Olivier Pirali, Emmanuël Jehin, Michel Vervloet, Damien Hutsemékers, et al.. TOWARD A UNIQUE NITROGEN ISOTOPIC RATIO IN COMETARY ICES. The Astrophysical journal letters, 2014, 780 (2), pp.L17. ⟨10.1088/2041-8205/780/2/L17⟩. ⟨hal-02276041⟩
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