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See detailOrtho-to-para Abundance Ratio (OPR) of Ammonia in 15 Comets: OPRs of Ammonia Versus 14N/15N Ratios in CN
Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kawakita, Hideyo; Kobayashi, Hitomi et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 729

The ortho-to-para abundance ratio (OPR) of cometary molecules is considered to be one of the primordial characteristics of cometary ices. We present OPRs of ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) in 15 comets based on ... [more ▼]

The ortho-to-para abundance ratio (OPR) of cometary molecules is considered to be one of the primordial characteristics of cometary ices. We present OPRs of ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) in 15 comets based on optical high-dispersion spectroscopic observations of NH[SUB]2[/SUB], which is a photodissociation product of ammonia in the gaseous coma. The observations were mainly carried out with the VLT/UVES. The OPR of ammonia is estimated from the OPR of NH[SUB]2[/SUB] based on the observations of the NH[SUB]2[/SUB] (0, 9, 0) vibronic band. The absorption lines by the telluric atmosphere are corrected and the cometary C[SUB]2[/SUB] emission lines blended with NH[SUB]2[/SUB] lines are removed in our analysis. The ammonia OPRs show a cluster between 1.1 and 1.2 (this corresponds to a nuclear spin temperature of ~30 K) for all comets in our sample except for 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (73P/SW3). Comet 73P/SW3 (both B- and C-fragments) shows the OPR of ammonia consistent with nuclear spin statistical weight ratio (1.0) that indicates a high-temperature limit as nuclear spin temperature. We compared the ammonia OPRs with other properties ([SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN, D/H ratios of water, and mixing ratios of volatiles). Comet 73P/SW3 is clearly different from the other comets in the plot of ammonia OPRs versus [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN. The ammonia OPRs of 1.0 and lower [SUP]15[/SUP]N-fractionation of CN in comet 73P/SW3 imply that icy materials in this comet formed under warmer conditions than other comets. Comets may be classified into two groups in the plot of ammonia OPRs against [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN. [less ▲]

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See detailOPRs of Ammonia versus 14N/15N Ratios in CN in 15 Comets
Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kawakita, H.; Kobayashi, H. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2010, October 01), 42

The solar system was formed from interstellar matter 4.6 Gyrs ago and comets are considered as remnants of icy planetesimals formed in the early solar system. One of interesting primordial characters of ... [more ▼]

The solar system was formed from interstellar matter 4.6 Gyrs ago and comets are considered as remnants of icy planetesimals formed in the early solar system. One of interesting primordial characters of cometary ice is an ortho-to-para abundance ratio (OPR) of molecules such as H2O, NH3, etc. The OPR probably indicates the molecular formation temperatures in the solar nebula or in the pre-solar molecular cloud. We determined the OPRs of ammonia by using the high dispersion optical spectra of NH2 in 15 comets: C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), C/1999 S4 (LINEAR), C/2001 A2 (LINEAR), C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), 153P/Ikeya-Zhang, C/2002 V1 (NEAT), C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa), C/2002 Y1 (Juels-Holvorcem), C/2001 Q4 (NEAT), C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), C/2003 K4 (LINEAR), 8P/Tuttle, 88P/Howell, 9P/Tempel 1, and 73P-B and -C/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. The observations were mainly carried out by the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Other telescopes/instruments were also used in some cases. The OPRs of ammonia are determined from OPRs of NH2 (0,9,0) ro-vibronic band around 600 nm. Although absorption lines (by the telluric atmosphere) and cometary C2 emission lines blended affected to NH2 emission lines in this region, we removed them in our analysis. The determined OPRs of ammonia clustered around 30K but not in the cases of 73P-B and -C. This situation is very similar to that of 14N/15N ratios in CN (i.e., 73P-B and -C are quite peculiar relative to other comets). We discuss about the relationship between the OPRs of ammonia and 14N/15N ratios in CN in these 15 comets. Our results indicate the formation of materials at relatively higher temperatures for 73P-B and -C than other comets. [less ▲]

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See detailRevisit to Nuclear Spin Temperature of Ammonia in Comets
Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2009, September 01), 41

Comets had formed from dust and icy materials in the solar nebula 4.6 Gyrs ago. The cometary materials are considered as the most pristine in the solar system and both dust grains and icy materials in ... [more ▼]

Comets had formed from dust and icy materials in the solar nebula 4.6 Gyrs ago. The cometary materials are considered as the most pristine in the solar system and both dust grains and icy materials in comets have been used to investigate the formation conditions of the solar system. One of interesting primordial characters is a nuclear spin temperature (related to an ortho-to-para ratio; OPR) of cometary molecules such as H2O, NH3, etc. The nuclear spin temperatures probably reflect the molecular formation temperatures in the solar nebula (or in the presolar molecular cloud). In this work, we analyzed high dispersion optical spectra of C/2001 Q4 (NEAT), C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), 88P/Howell, fragments B and C of 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 and 8P/Tuttle. Our observations were performed by the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the High Dispersion Spectrograph (HDS) mounted on the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. We determined nuclear spin temperatures of NH3 in five comets based on optical spectra of NH2. The nuclear spin temperatures of NH3 can be obtained from OPRs of NH2. We used the (0,9,0) ro-vibronic band at 610nm in this work. Absorption lines (by the telluric atmosphere) and cometary C2 emission lines blended with NH2 emission lines were also taken into account in our analysis. These lines have never been considered in previous studies. The origin of icy materials in the five comets will be discussed based on these results. [less ▲]

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