A Caltech Library Service

Ocean-like water in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2

Hartogh, Paul and Lis, Dariusz C. and Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique and de Val-Borro, Miguel and Biver, Nicholas and Küppers, Michael and Emprechtinger, Martin and Bergin, Edwin A. and Crovisier, Jacques and Rengel, Miriam and Moreno, Raphael and Szutowicz, Slawomira and Blake, Geoffrey A. (2011) Ocean-like water in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2. Nature, 478 (7368). pp. 218-220. ISSN 0028-0836.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


For decades, the source of Earth's volatiles, especially water with a deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of (1.558 ± 0.001) × 10^(−4), has been a subject of debate. The similarity of Earth’s bulk composition to that of meteorites known as enstatite chondrites suggests a dry proto-Earth with subsequent delivery of volatiles by local accretion or impacts of asteroids or comets. Previous measurements in six comets from the Oort cloud yielded a mean D/H ratio of (2.96 ± 0.25) × 10^(−4). The D/H value in carbonaceous chondrites, (1.4 ± 0.1) × 10^(−4), together with dynamical simulations, led to models in which asteroids were the main source of Earth's water, with ≤10 per cent being delivered by comets. Here we report that the D/H ratio in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2, which originated in the Kuiper belt, is (1.61 ± 0.24) × 10^(−4). This result substantially expands the reservoir of Earth ocean-like water to include some comets, and is consistent with the emerging picture of a complex dynamical evolution of the early Solar System.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Lis, Dariusz C.0000-0002-0500-4700
Bergin, Edwin A.0000-0003-4179-6394
Blake, Geoffrey A.0000-0003-0787-1610
Additional Information:© 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 16 May; accepted 30 August 2011. Published online 5 October 2011. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation by NASA. The Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) has been designed and built by a consortium of institutes and university departments from across Europe, Canada and the United States under the leadership of SRON, the Netherlands Institute for Space Research, and withmajor contributions fromGermany, France and the USA. This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); and DLR (Germany). Additional funding support for some instrument activities has been provided by ESA. Support for this work was also provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. D.C.L. is supported by an NSF award to the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. We thank R. Lorente, P. García-Lario, M. Kidger and G. Pilbratt for helping with the scheduling of these observations, and I. Avruch for the assistance with HIFI specific software issues. Author Contributions: This paper represents the combined work of the HssO (the Herschel guaranteed time key programme "Water and related chemistry in the solar system") team members listed as authors. P.H. is the coordinator of this programme. All authors contributed to this work, including observation planning, data analysis and writing of themanuscript. N.B., D.B.-M., M.R., R.M, M.d.V.-B. and M.E. carried out the data reduction and contributed to the modelling efforts. All authors were collectively involved in the discussion and interpretation of the results.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Astronomy; Physics; Planetary sciences
Issue or Number:7368
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111107-111311204
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ocean-like water in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2 Paul Hartogh, Dariusz C. Lis, Dominique Bockelée-Morvan, Miguel de Val-Borro, Nicolas Biver + et al
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27649
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 Nov 2011 21:12
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page