The Oxygen Isotopic Composition of the Sun Inferred from Captured Solar Wind

KD McKeegan, APA Kallio, VS Heber, G Jarzebinski, PH Mao, CD Coath, T Kunihiro, RC Wiens, JE Nordholt, RW Moses, DB Reisenfeld, AJG Jurewicz, DS Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

All planetary materials sampled thus far vary in their relative abundance of the major isotope of oxygen, O-16, such that it has not been possible to define a primordial solar system composition. We measured the oxygen isotopic composition of solar wind captured and returned to Earth by NASA's Genesis mission. Our results demonstrate that the Sun is highly enriched in O-16 relative to the Earth, Moon, Mars, and bulk meteorites. Because the solar photosphere preserves the average isotopic composition of the solar system for elements heavier than lithium, we conclude that essentially all rocky materials in the inner solar system were enriched in O-17 and O-18, relative to O-16, by similar to 7%, probably via non-mass-dependent chemistry before accretion of the first planetesimals.
Translated title of the contributionThe Oxygen Isotopic Composition of the Sun Inferred from Captured Solar Wind
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1528 - 1532
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume332
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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