Early solar system

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  • Research |

    Chloromethane (CH3Cl) has been observed towards a low-mass protostar and comet 67P, making it the first organohalogen detected in space. The species was previously considered to be a biomarker, but the authors suggest viable alternative abiotic formation routes.

    • Edith C. Fayolle
    • , Karin I. Öberg
    • , Jes K. Jørgensen
    • , Kathrin Altwegg
    • , Hannah Calcutt
    • , Holger S. P. Müller
    • , Martin Rubin
    • , Matthijs H. D. van der Wiel
    • , Per Bjerkeli
    • , Tyler L. Bourke
    • , Audrey Coutens
    • , Ewine F. van Dishoeck
    • , Maria N. Drozdovskaya
    • , Robin T. Garrod
    • , Niels F. W. Ligterink
    • , Magnus V. Persson
    •  & Susanne F. Wampfler
    Nature Astronomy 1, 703–708
  • Research |

    The measurement of magnesium isotope ratios at improved accuracy suggests that planetary compositions result from fractionation between liquid and vapour, followed by vapour escape during accretionary growth.

    • Remco C. Hin
    • , Christopher D. Coath
    • , Philip J. Carter
    • , Francis Nimmo
    • , Yi-Jen Lai
    • , Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann
    • , Matthias Willbold
    • , Zoë M. Leinhardt
    • , Michael J. Walter
    •  & Tim Elliott
    Nature 549, 511–515
  • Research |

    Impacts could have driven transient subduction events on the Hadean Earth, according to numerical simulations. The scenario reconciles evidence for tectonic activity with that for an otherwise tectonically stagnant early Earth.

    • C. O’Neill
    • , S. Marchi
    • , S. Zhang
    •  & W. Bottke
    Nature Geoscience 10, 793–797
  • Research |

    Analysis based on high-resolution observations from the Hubble Space Telescope shows that the asteroid 288P is a binary main-belt comet, with properties unlike any known binary asteroid.

    • Jessica Agarwal
    • , David Jewitt
    • , Max Mutchler
    • , Harold Weaver
    •  & Stephen Larson
    Nature 549, 357–359

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