Volume 603, July 2017
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||19 July 2017|
Direct evidence of multiple reservoirs of volatile nitrogen in a protosolar nebula analogue
1 Institut Universitaire de France, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
2 Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
3 Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, School of Physics & Astronomy, and Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
4 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 30 January 2017
Accepted: 23 June 2017
Isotopic ratios are keys to understanding the origin and early evolution of the solar system in the context of Galactic nucleosynthesis. The large range of measured 14N/15N isotopic ratios in the solar system reflects distinct reservoirs of nitrogen whose origins remain to be determined. We have directly measured a C14N/C15N abundance ratio of 323 ± 30 in the disk orbiting the nearby young star TW Hya. This value, which is in good agreement with nitrogen isotopic ratios measured for prestellar cores, likely reflects the primary present-day reservoir of nitrogen in the solar neighbourhood. These results support models invoking novae as primary 15N sources as well as outward migration of the Sun over its lifetime, and suggest that comets sampled a secondary, 15N-rich reservoir during solar system formation.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: abundances / galaxies: abundances / Galaxy: evolution / comets: general
© ESO, 2017
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