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A ^(15)N-Poor Isotopic Composition for the Solar System As Shown by Genesis Solar Wind Samples

Marty, B. and Chaussidon, M. and Wiens, R. C. and Jurewicz, A. J. G. and Burnett, D. S. (2011) A ^(15)N-Poor Isotopic Composition for the Solar System As Shown by Genesis Solar Wind Samples. Science, 332 (6037). pp. 1533-1536. ISSN 0036-8075.

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The Genesis mission sampled solar wind ions to document the elemental and isotopic compositions of the Sun and, by inference, of the protosolar nebula. Nitrogen was a key target element because the extent and origin of its isotopic variations in solar system materials remain unknown. Isotopic analysis of a Genesis Solar Wind Concentrator target material shows that implanted solar wind nitrogen has a ^(15)N/^(14)N ratio of 2.18 ± 0.02 × 10^(−3) (that is, ≈40% poorer in ^(15)N relative to terrestrial atmosphere). The ^(15)N/^(14)N ratio of the protosolar nebula was 2.27 ± 0.03 × 10^(−3), which is the lowest ^(15)N/^(14)N ratio known for solar system objects. This result demonstrates the extreme nitrogen isotopic heterogeneity of the nascent solar system and accounts for the ^(15)N-depleted components observed in solar system reservoirs.

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Wiens, R. C.0000-0002-3409-7344
Additional Information:© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 22 February 2011; accepted 26 April 2011. Funding in the U.S. was provided by NASA through the Genesis Discovery Mission and through the Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples program. The ultimate success of the mission would not have been possible without major engineering contributions from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Genesis Concentrator), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (payload, mission operations, management), Lockheed Martin Aerospace (spacecraft and reentry capsule), and the Johnson Space Center (payload integration and curation). This study was funded in France by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the French Ministery of Higher Education and Research, the Région Lorraine, the Fonds Européen de Développement Régional, and the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013 grant agreements no. 226846 to M.C. and no. 267255 to B.M.). We particularly thank J. D. Allton for excellent sample curation and C. Olinger for ion trajectory calculations. The SiC standard was provided by A. Kallio. This work benefitted from discussions with the members of the Genesis Science Team, in particular, R. O. Pepin, R. Wieler, and A. N. Davies. Comments on the draft by V. S. Heber, K. McKeegan, P. Bochsler, and three reviewers were appreciated. The full data set is available as supporting online material (SOM).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Genesis Discovery Mission UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d’Etudes SpatialesUNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueUNSPECIFIED
French Ministery of Higher Education and ResearchUNSPECIFIED
Région LorraineUNSPECIFIED
Fonds Européen de Développement RégionalUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme226846
European Research Council European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme267255
Issue or Number:6037
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110711-113456583
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24360
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:12 Jul 2011 16:34
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:55

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