NASA's Genesis mission was flown to capture samples of the solar wind and return them to the Earth for measurement. The purpose of the mission was to determine the chemical and isotopic composition of the Sun with significantly better precision than known before. Abundance data are now available for noble gases, magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium, aluminum, chromium, iron, and other elements. Here, we report abundance data for hydrogen in four solar wind regimes collected by the Genesis mission (bulk solar wind, interstream low-energy wind, coronal hole high-energy wind, and coronal mass ejections). The mission was not designed to collect hydrogen, and in order to measure it, we had to overcome a variety of technical problems, as described herein. The relative hydrogen fluences among the four regimes should be accurate to better than ±5–6%, and the absolute fluences should be accurate to ±10%. We use the data to investigate elemental fractionations due to the first ionization potential during acceleration of the solar wind. We also use our data, combined with regime data for neon and argon, to estimate the solar neon and argon abundances, elements that cannot be measured spectroscopically in the solar photosphere.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science