Parent volatiles in comet 9P/Tempel 1: Before and after impact

Michael J. Mumma, Michael A. DiSanti, Karen Magee-Sauer, Boncho P. Bonev, Geronimo L. Villanueva, Hideyo Kawakita, Neil Dello Russo, Erika L. Gibb, Geoffrey A. Blake, James E. Lyke, Randall D. Campbell, Joel Aycock, Al Conrad, Grant M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


We quantified eight parent volatiles (H2O, C2H 6, HCN, CO, CH3OH, H2CO, C2H 2, and CH4) in the Jupiter-family comet Tempel 1 using high-dispersion infrared spectroscopy in the wavelength range 2.8 to 5.0 micrometers. The abundance ratio for ethane was significantly higher after impact, whereas those for methanol and hydrogen cyanide were unchanged. The abundance ratios in the ejecta are similar to those for most Oort cloud comets, but methanol and acetylene are lower in Tempel 1 by a factor of about 2. These results suggest that the volatile ices in Tempel 1 and in most Oort cloud comets originated in a common region of the protoplanetary disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-274
Number of pages5
Issue number5746
StatePublished - Oct 14 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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