Carbon Monoxide Affecting Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry
astrobiology, planets and satellites: atmospheres, planets and satellites: composition
Astrophysical Journal Letters
CO is an important component in many N2 CH4 atmospheres, including Titan, Triton, and Pluto, and has also been detected in the atmosphere of a number of exoplanets. Numerous experimental simulations have been carried out in the laboratory to understand the chemistry in N2 CH4 atmospheres, but very few simulations have included CO in the initial gas mixtures. The effect of CO on the chemistry occurring in these atmospheres is still poorly understood. We have investigated the effect of CO on both gas and solid phase chemistry in a series of planetary atmosphere simulation experiments using gas mixtures of CO, CH4, and N2 with a range of CO mixing ratios from 0.05% to 5% at low temperature (∼100 K). We find that CO affects the gas phase chemistry, the density, and the composition of the solids. Specifically, with the increase of CO in the initial gases, there is less H2 but more H2O, HCN, C2H5N HCNO, and CO2 produced in the gas phase, while the density, oxygen content, and degree of unsaturation of the solids increase. The results indicate that CO has an important impact on the chemistry occurring in our experiments and accordingly in planetary atmospheres.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
He, Chao; Hörst, Sarah M.; Riemer, Sydney; Sebree, Joshua A.; Pauley, Nicholas; and Vuitton, Véronique, "Carbon Monoxide Affecting Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry" (2017). Faculty Publications. 875.