An infrared search for HDO in comets

E. L. Gibb, M. J. Mumma, M. A. DiSanti, N. Dello Russo, K. Magee-Sauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We searched for HDO emission in our infrared database of six Oort Cloud comets (C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang), C/2001 A2 (LINEAR), C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), C/1999 H1 (Lee), C/1999 S4 (LINEAR), and C/1999 T1 (McNaught-Hartley)). Spectral lines of the v1 fundamental vibrational band of HDO were sampled using high resolution infrared spectra acquired with both CSHELL at NASA's IRTF and NIRSPEC at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Of these comets, the recent apparition of the bright Comet Ikeya-Zhang, with its high gas production rate and good geocentric Doppler shift, provided an exceptional opportunity to search for minor constituents such as HDO. We report tentative detections of HDO in three Oort Cloud comets with upper limits determined for the remaining three. These data, combined with future observations, will be used to test models of nebular chemistry and delivery of water and organics to the early Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-708
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number500
StatePublished - Jul 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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