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2009 Annual Science Report

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

Composition of Parent Volatiles in Comets: Oxidized Carbon

Project Summary

GCA Co-Investigator Dr. Michael DiSanti continued his work on measuring parent volatiles in comets using high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy at world class observatories in Hawai’i and Chile. The goal of this work is to build a taxonomy of comets based on ice compositions, which show considerable variation among comets measured to date. DiSanti’s research emphasizes the chemistry of volatile oxidized carbon, in particular the efficiency of converting CO to H2CO and CH3OH on the surfaces of icy interstellar grains, through H-atom addition reactions prior to their incorporation into comets. The work requires planning and conducting observations, processing of spectra, and development and application of fluorescence models for interpretation of observed line intensities.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites
    Michael DiSanti
    Project Investigator