Constraints on neon and argon isotopic fractionation in solar wind

Alex Meshik, Jennifer Mabry, Charles Hohenberg, Yves Marrocchi, Olga Pravdivtseva, Donald Burnett, Chad Olinger, Roger Wiens, Dan Reisenfeld, Judith Allton, Karen McNamara, Eileen Stansbery, Amy Jurewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


To evaluate the isotopic composition of the solar nebula from which the planets formed, the relation between isotopes measured in the solar wind and on the Sun's surface needs to be known. The Genesis Discovery mission returned independent samples of three types of solar wind produced by different solar processes that provide a check on possible isotopic variations, or fractionation, between the solar-wind and solar-surface material. At a high level of precision, we observed no significant inter-regime differences in 20Ne/22Ne or 36Ar/38Ar values. For 20Ne/22Ne, the difference between low- and high-speed wind components is 0.24 ± 0.37%; for 36Ar/38Ar, it is 0.11 ± 0.26%. Our measured 36Ar/38Ar ratio in the solar wind of 5.501 ± 0.005 is 3.42 ± 0.09% higher than that of the terrestrial atmosphere, which may reflect atmospheric losses early in Earth's history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-435
Number of pages3
Issue number5849
StatePublished - Oct 19 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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