On the source of cometary N+2 ions

P. P. Saxena*
Department of Mathematics and Astronomy, Lucknow University, Lucknow 226 007, India

Abstract. The possibility of nitrous oxide (N2 O) molecules in Comet 1P/ Halley (Saxena 2004) is revisited in the light of theoretical considerations, its detection in hot molecular cores and observations of annealed Mg-silicate grains in comets to support its parent nature in other comets as well. Having a photo- lifetime 105 s at 1 AU heliocentric distance (Huebner et al. 1992), N2 O may be the source of N+2 ions in cometary tails. The detection of N2 O molecule in comets will have important implications on the nature of cometary parent molecules.

Keywords: comets: general

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