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Deuterium in the Solar System

  • T. Owen (a1)

Abstract

Values of D/H measured in the methane on the giant planets and Titan indicate the presence of two distinct reservoirs of deuterium in the outer solar system. The dominant reservoir is in hydrogen gas, the second, multi-component reservoir is found in the hydrogen that is bound in condensed compounds. Both reservoirs appear to have originated in the interstellar medium. In contrast, the values of D/H in water vapor on Mars and Venus (especially) exhibit a large enrichment from the “condensed matter” starting value. Interpretation of this enrichment may illuminate the history of water on these two planets.

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