We present a simple, semianalytic model of the vaporization of H2O and HDO ice from a comet nucleus. We use this model to show that the flux of HDO relative to H2O can be much higher, at times, than would be expected from the D/H ratio in the nuclear ice itself. This effect varies with position in the comet's orbit. It is negligible sufficiently near the Sun but could lead to erroneous interpretations of the primordial D/H ratio in cometary ice if measurements are made in other parts of the cometary orbit.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - 1 Nov 2002|
- Comet composition
- Comet origin