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View Full Version : Hidden Stores of Deuterium Discovered in the Milky Way



Fraser
2006-Aug-18, 04:42 PM
A six year study by NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, or FUSE, satellite has turned up previously hidden quantities of deuterium - a heavier isotope of hydrogen. Astronomers have wondered for years why the levels of deuterium in the Milky Way vary across the galaxy. FUSE has found that deuterium tends to bind to interstellar grains of dust, hiding it from view. Extreme events, like supernovae shockwaves, can vapourize the grains of dust, freeing the deuterium, and making it visible.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/08/18/hidden-stores-of-deuterium-discovered-in-the-milky-way/)

George
2006-Aug-20, 01:52 AM
Does Earth have more deuterium than originally expected?

antoniseb
2006-Aug-20, 10:10 PM
Does Earth have more deuterium than originally expected?

The Earth's D/H ratio is higher than the average for interstellar atoms, but Venus has a much higher concentration than the Earth does. This might indicate that Venus had a larger fraction of its Hydrogen boiled away than the Earth did, and that both had substantially more atmosphere in earlier times than they do today.

George
2006-Aug-22, 01:47 AM
Does the new finding explain this to some degree?