Detection of Abundant Ethane and Methane, Along with Carbon Monoxide and Water, in Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake: Evidence for Interstellar Origin

  title={Detection of Abundant Ethane and Methane, Along with Carbon Monoxide and Water, in Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake: Evidence for Interstellar Origin},
  author={M. Mumma and M. DiSanti and N. Russo and M. Fomenkova and K. Magee-Sauer and C. Kaminski and David X. Xie},
  pages={1310 - 1314}
The saturated hydrocarbons ethane (C2H6) and methane (CH4) along with carbon monoxide (CO) and water (H2O) were detected in comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake with the use of high-resolution infrared spectroscopy at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The inferred production rates of molecular gases from the icy, cometary nucleus (in molecules per second) are 6.4 × 1026 for C2H6, 1.2 × 1027 for CH4, 9.8 × 1027 for CO, and 1.7 × 1029 for H2O. An abundance of C2H6 comparable to that… Expand
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