Underground reservoir of oxygen in comet 67P

The European House Company’s Rosetta spacecraft orbited an roughly 4-km-sized object, comet 67P for over two years. It unveiled a geologically sophisticated world, with beautiful vistas of crumbling cliffs, spectacular jets, and gaping holes that supplied a glimpse of its subsurface. Amongst Rosetta’s numerous devices, the ROSINA mass spectrometers supplied detailed measurements of the fuel surrounding the comet. One of many largest surprises it discovered was that the environment of 67P contained between 1–10% molecular oxygen in comparison with water1,3. It is a a lot increased fraction than predicted by planetary formation fashions4. A flurry of bodily and chemical explanations adopted, together with trapping mechanisms, radiation chemistry within the ice part, and ion–floor chemistry5. Clues from the ROSINA knowledge indicated that the O2 originated from the nucleus, and that the discharge of oxygen and water molecules appears to be tightly linked all through 67P’s orbit, suggesting a typical origin.

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