Isotopic composition of solar wind nitrogen: First in-situ determination by CELIAS/MTOF on board SOHO

author: R. Kallenbach, J. Geiss, F. M. Ipavich, G. Gloeckler, P. Bochsler, F. Gliem, M. Hilchenbach, and D. Hovestadt.

ApJl, volume 507, L185-188

Phys. Chem. Earth in press

Using the high-resolution mass spectrometer CELIAS/MTOF on board SOHO we have determined the solar wind isotope abundance ratio of N, 14N/15N = 200±60, indicating a depletion of 15N in the terrestrial atmosphere compared to solar matter. This result is compatible with the hypothesis that terrestrial N and also N found in lunar surface material is a mixture of a heavy component identical with solar N and an unspecified light component. The large variations of 14N/15N in solar system matter is caused by special isotope enrichment processes as in the case of Mars as well as by varying mixtures of isotopically different components.

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Last Update: December 20, 1998, James Weygand