Noble gases in ancient asteroidal atmospheres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The atmospheres of rocky asteroids are unlikely to have ever been anything more than tenuous exospheres. However, it is possible that the densities of radiogenic heavy noble gases might have once been high enough to have implanted observable quantities in the regoliths that became meteorites. Analytical and numerical results suggest that acceleration of photoions by the solar wind motional field is a significant loss process for Xe on asteroids about 200 km in radius or larger, if the Xe is thermalized by its interactions with the surface. For Ar, photoion acceleration can only become important for asteroids nearly 500 km in radius. Thus photoion acceleration, previously invoked for lunar samples, could be responsible for excess fission-produced Xe found associated with solar wind Xe in howardite meteorites. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume98
Issue numberE8
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Noble Gases
Asteroids
noble gas
asteroids
asteroid
Meteorites
rare gases
Solar wind
meteorites
atmospheres
meteorite
solar wind
atmosphere
howardite
exosphere
radii
wind field
fission
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Noble gases in ancient asteroidal atmospheres. / Swindle, Timothy.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 98, No. E8, 1993.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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