Nature Publishing Group, publisher of Nature, and other science journals and reference works
Nature
my account e-alerts subscribe register
   
Sunday 24 September 2017
Journal Home
Current Issue
AOP
Archive
Download PDF
References
Export citation
Export references
Send to a friend
More articles like this

Letters
Nature 284, 431 - 433 (03 April 1980); doi:10.1038/284431a0

Radiogenic melting of primordial comet interiors

Max K. Wallis

Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, University College, Cardiff CF1 1XL, UK

Comets accreted soon after the initial collapse and cooling of the solar nebula, and containing a plausible fraction of 26Al, would have been significantly heated as this radionuclide decayed. Snow-and-dust balls as described by integrals of the heat conduction equation would melt in the centre if larger than 3–6 km radius. A central, low pressure vapour-droplet mixture is described here, which is conceived to be retained within an ice shell, and providing a potentially hospitable environment for elementary life forms. Refreezing after some million years produces a partially-hollow core.

------------------

References

1. Reeves, H., Astrophys. J. 231, 229 (1979). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
2. Whipple, F. L. & Huebner, W. F., A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys. 14, 143 (1976). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
3. Whipple, F. L. & Stefanik, R. P., Mém. Soc. R. Sci. Liège Sér., 5, 12, 33 (1966).
4. Lee, T., Papanastassiou, D. A. & Wasserburg, G. J. Geophys. Res. Lett. 3, 109 (1976); Astrophys. J. 211, L111 (1977). | Article |
5. Geiss, J. Comments on Meteors and Meteorite Research and Comet Probing with respect to the Origin of the Solar System (ESA Workshop on Cometary Missions, ESOC Darmstadt, 1978).
6. Wasson, J. T. Meteorites, Classification and Properties Ch. 7 (Springer, Berlin 1974).
7. Dobrovolskii caron, O. & Markovich, M. Z. IAU Symp. No. 45, 287 (1972).
8. Irvine, W. M., Leschine, S. B. & Schloerb, F. P. Nature 283, 748 (1980). | ISI | ChemPort |
9. Wallis, M. K. Astrophys. and Relativity (Preprint, University College, Cardiff, 1979).
10. Palm, E. & Tweitereid, M. J. geophys. Res. 84, 745 (1979). | ISI |
11. Goldanski, V. Nature 279, 109 (1979). | ISI | ChemPort |
12. Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N. C. Lifecloud (Dent, 1978).
13. Sekanina, Z. Sky Telesc. 51, 386 (1976). | ISI |
14. Roemer, E. Mém. Soc. R. Sci. Liège S;ér. 5, 12, 23 (1966).
15. Americcan Institute of Physics Handbook 2nd edn (1963).



© 1980 Nature Publishing Group
Privacy Policy