On the Average Chemical Composition of Cometary Dust

Conference paper


This is a progress report on our efforts to extract information from mass spectra obtained by the particulate impact analysers onboard the VEGA and GIOTTO spacecrafts. Analysing a subset of 23 selected spectra obtained with identical instrument conditions, we derive a preliminary average abundance pattern of the major and some minor elements in Halley’s dust. Within a factor of two the pattern is chondritic for the major elements. Carbon is enriched by a factor of 8 compared to CI chondrites. Halley’s dust is composed of chondritic “silicates” and refractory carbonaceous material.


Cometary dust elemental abundance chondrite PIA PUMA organics density 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für KernphysikHeidelbergFed. Rep. of Germany
  2. 2.MPI-ConsultantDarmstadtFed. Rep. of Germany

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