Ethane and carbon monoxide were detected in a short-period comet of probable Kuiper Belt origin. Ethane is substantially less abundant compared with Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, two comets from the giant-planet region of the solar nebula, suggesting a heliocentric gradient in ethane in precometary ices. It is argued that processing by X-rays from the young Sun may be responsible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science