A light carbon isotope composition for the Sun

James Lyons, Ehsan Gharib-Nezhad, Thomas R. Ayres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Measurements by the Genesis mission have shown that solar wind oxygen is depleted in the rare isotopes, 17O and 18O, by approximately 80 and 100‰, respectively, relative to Earth's oceans, with inferred photospheric values of about -60‰ for both isotopes. Direct astronomical measurements of CO absorption lines in the solar photosphere have previously yielded a wide range of O isotope ratios. Here, we reanalyze the line strengths for high-temperature rovibrational transitions in photospheric CO from ATMOS FTS data, and obtain an 18O depletion of δ 18O = -50 ± 11‰ (1σ). From the same analysis we find a carbon isotope ratio of δ 13C = -48 ± 7‰ (1σ) for the photosphere. This implies that the primary reservoirs of carbon on the terrestrial planets are enriched in 13C relative to the bulk material from which the solar system formed, possibly as a result of CO self-shielding or inheritance from the parent cloud.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number908
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Carbon Isotopes
carbon isotopes
isotope ratios
Solar System
Carbon Monoxide
photosphere
Isotopes
Sun
Genesis mission
sun
isotopes
terrestrial planets
Chemical analysis
solar system
solar wind
Planets
shielding
oceans
depletion
Solar wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

A light carbon isotope composition for the Sun. / Lyons, James; Gharib-Nezhad, Ehsan; Ayres, Thomas R.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, No. 1, 908, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lyons, James ; Gharib-Nezhad, Ehsan ; Ayres, Thomas R. / A light carbon isotope composition for the Sun. In: Nature Communications. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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