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Extralunar sources for carbon on the moon

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Abstract

Contrary to previous assumptions, the solar wind may not be the only source of lunar carbon, possibly contributing as little as 50 ppm carbon to the lunar surface fines. Because of uncertainties about the true composition of the solar wind, it is impossible to be definite in any calculation. Meteorites and comets, previously assumed to be negligible contributors, might account for 5–10 ppm carbon via a cycle of carbon through the lunar atmosphere. Carbon isotope ratio measurements have the potential of greatly clarifying the situation, but key data are missing.

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Hayes, J.M. Extralunar sources for carbon on the moon. Space Life Sciences 3, 474–483 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00926777

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Keywords

  • Atmosphere
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Geochemistry
  • Solar Wind
  • Isotope Ratio