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Fraser
2005-Apr-21, 05:28 PM
SUMMARY: When NASA's Genesis smashed into the desert last year, mission controllers and scientists feared the worst for the spacecraft's fragile particle collectors. However, after having examined them carefully, it appears that plenty of useful science will be possible with the collected material. The four solar wind collectors, in an instrument called the concentrator are in excellent condition and should help scientists understand how the Solar System formed.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/genesis_recovery_well.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

om@umr.edu
2005-Apr-21, 05:59 PM
Thanks, Fraser, for the follow-up story.

I hope NASA's Genesis can "see" solar elements not already "seen" in lunar soils and

confirm

correct, or

contradict

evidence that lightweight atoms are enriched at the solar surface.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2005-Apr-21, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Apr 21 2005, 05:59 PM
I hope NASA's Genesis can "see" solar elements not already "seen" in lunar soils and confirm, correct, or contradict evidence that lightweight atoms are enriched at the solar surface.

Sure, I think everyone here who has participated in exploring your idea would like it if the Genesis data said something that affects how we see that data. Personally I have high hopes that the data will tell us in more detail what the solar wind is made of but I doubt that it will tell us something that seems definitive for or against your case.

Don Alexander
2005-Apr-21, 07:04 PM
Hey, this is good news!! But what about contamination - after all, the container broke open.

I hope they won't just measure the isotope ratios of the Utah desert...

TuTone
2005-Apr-21, 11:43 PM
Of course they know what they are doing....they're scientist! :lol:

om@umr.edu
2005-Apr-22, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by Don Alexander@Apr 21 2005, 07:04 PM
Hey, this is good news!! But what about contamination - after all, the container broke open.

I hope they won't just measure the isotope ratios of the Utah desert...
That is a good point, Don.

If all they see is terrestrial isotope ratios, it will probably be simple contamination.

Other measurements have already shown many non-terrestrial isotope ratios in the Sun:

1. Lighter isotopes of many elements are systematically enriched in the solar wind by mass fractionation.

2. There is an additional 7-8% of excess Xe-136 in the Sun from rapid neutron capture (the r-process) in a supernova. This appears to be the same "strange" xenon seen in Jupiter and in graphite and diamond inclusions of meteorites.

3. Within the past few weeks scientists in Japan and France reported that the Sun also contains at least 2% excess O-16.

Excess O-16 is probably from helium burning in the supernova. The scientists tried to explain the observation by self-sheilding when oxygen in the accretion disk was irradiated with light.

Self-shielding during light irradiation can separate isotopes. It generates excess O-16 in one region of the accretion disk by depleting O-16 in another region.

There is no net production of excess O-16. Since the Sun is over 99.8% of the mass of the solar system, separating isotopes in the accretion disk cannot, in my opinion, generate 2% excess O-16 in the Sun itself.

Anyway, Don, we know that many isotope ratios in the Sun are unlike those of the Utah desert. Genesis scientists can use that information to look for contamination when the container fell into the Utah desert and broke open.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om