The oxygen isotopic composition of the sun inferred from captured solar wind

K. D. McKeegan, A. P.A. Kallio, V. S. Heber, G. Jarzebinski, P. H. Mao, C. D. Coath, T. Kunihiro, R. C. Wiens, J. E. Nordholt, R. W. Moses, D. B. Reisenfeld, A. J.G. Jurewicz, D. S. Burnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    238 Citations (Scopus)


    All planetary materials sampled thus far vary in their relative abundance of the major isotope of oxygen, 16O, such that it has not been possible to define a primordial solar system composition. We measured the oxygen isotopic composition of solar wind captured and returned to Earth by NASA's Genesis mission. Our results demonstrate that the Sun is highly enriched in 16O relative to the Earth, Moon, Mars, and bulk meteorites. Because the solar photosphere preserves the average isotopic composition of the solar system for elements heavier than lithium, we conclude that essentially all rocky materials in the inner solar system were enriched in 17O and 18O, relative to 16O, by ∼7%, probably via non-mass-dependent chemistry before accretion of the first planetesimals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1528-1532
    Number of pages5
    Issue number6037
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


    Dive into the research topics of 'The oxygen isotopic composition of the sun inferred from captured solar wind'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this