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Multiple nitrogen components in lunar soil sample 12023Nitrogen is one of the enigmatic elements in lunar soils and breccias. The large range in (delta)N-15 values found within lunar soils was initially attributed to a secular increase in the N-15/N-14 ratio of 50 percent within the solar corona, and hence in the implanted nitrogen within the lunar regolith. However, more recent explanations have proposed a two (or many) component mixing model of solar wind nitrogen with some hypothetical non-solar components. Such components could include indigenous lunar nitrogen, nitrogen contained in interstellar grains in primitive meteorites, and magnetospheric nitrogen from the terrestrial atmosphere. To understand the makeup of multi-component mixtures it is advantageous to have carbon and noble gas data measured simultaneously, particularly in the case of lunar soils, where the solar wind is a likely fundamental contributor of nitrogen. To this end, a new nitrogen instrument was adapted to give some of the desired data in parallel. Conjoint measurements of N abundance and (delta)N-15 together with N/Ar-36 and Ar-36/Ar-38 ratios obtained during a stepped combustion of lunar soil 12023. The results are preliminary to a much more comprehensive investigation of well characterized fractions of the sample which we still have available from a previous study. Stepped combustion of a sample of 12023,7 yielded 94 ppm nitrogen with a (delta)N-15 = +22.2 percent, as well as the characteristic heavy-light-heavy pattern observed for lunar samples. The low temperature maximum was +75.1 percent at 550 C, the minimum at 800 C with (delta)N-15 = -16.7 percent and the high temperature (delta)N-15 peak is +90.6 percent at 1250 C. The major releases of nitrogen occurred between 650 C - 800 C in the form of a double peak; a third, substantial release occurred at 1150 C yielding 14.2 ppm of nitrogen coinciding with a small but recognizable drop in (delta)N-15 against a regularly increasing trend.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Brilliant, D. R.
(Open Univ. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)
Franchi, I. A.
(Open Univ. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)
Pillinger, C. T.
(Open Univ. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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