Ammonium Salts

5 Apr 2020

At a case of missing nitrogen on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) as relayed back by the Rosetta Mission. Comets are thought to produce information on the early days of how our solar system came into being - the building blocks if you like. The comet is a Jupiter class. One f the first results of the Rosetta Mission, back in 2014, came from its dust mass spectrometer. It measured an average nitrogen to carbon ratio much lower than the solar N/C value - which was a surprise if not a puzzle. A new paper seeks to explain what was, and is, going on and they have come up with an idea that cannot really be refuted. Data from the onboard VIRTIS-M instrument, which mapped the asteroid in 2014 and 2015, was brought into the fray. Why doesn't the comet display the situation thought to exist in the early stages of the solar system. The comet was found to be uniform, so the researchers modelled the puzzle and this reveals that ammonium salts produce the absorption bands at the right wavelengths - and consider formate is the most likely candidate given that formic acid was detected by the mass spectrometer. This analysed the composition of the comet's atmosphere, or coma - which is composed mainly of gases.

How does this relate to the shortage of nitrogen. They suggest the ammonium salts were subimated - and did not get into the gases of the coma (thereby shedding the nitrogen element in the ammonium salts).

At which is a short post angling for some jokesey comments. They were not very successful but someone did say 'lobster suppers delayed for 6 months ...'. The COP 26 conference in Glasgow has been cancelled for this year - and moved to 2021. Some 30,000 delegrates were expected. Big blow for local hotels and chefs. Why not use Zoom or Business Skype?

  ... a comparison between the Hockey Stick models and the central England temperature record produced by HH Lamb in 1965. What happened to the Medieval Warm Period and the so called Little Ice Age.