Depletion of Carbon-13 in Carbon monoxide in the Atmosphere of Mars

Release:May 31, 2023 Update:May 31, 2023
  • Science

With the data taken by European Mars mission "ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter", the research team led by Lecturer Shohei Aoki of the Department of Complexity and Engineering in the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences have revealed that carbon-131 in carbon monoxide is depleted in the atmosphere of Mars. When carbon dioxide, the main constituent of Mars atmosphere, is split into carbon monoxide by sunlight, carbon-12 is preferentially destroyed. Because organic matter on the surface of Mars is also depleted in carbon-13, it is suggested that the atmospheric photo-chemistry may play an important role in forming organic matter.

1 Carbon-13: Stable isotope of Carbon. It contains one additional neutron compare to carbon-12.


European Space Agency (ESA) Press Release (May 31, 2023)

"Unusual carbon balance at Mars explained by sunlight and chemistry, finds ExoMars"



The Planetary Science Journal

Depletion of 13C in CO in the Atmosphere of Mars Suggested by ExoMars-TGO/NOMAD Observations 

Aoki, K. Shiobara, N. Yoshida, L. Trompet, T. Yoshida, N. Terada, H. Nakagawa, G. Liuzzi, A. C. Vandaele, I. R. Thomas, G. L. Villanueva, M. A. Lopez-Valverde, A. Brines, M. R. Patel, S. Faggi, F. Daerden, J. T. Erwin, B. Ristic, G. Bellucci, J. J. Lopez-Moreno, H. Kurokawa, and Y. Ueno




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