Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp L1–L9 | Cite as

On possible short-lived progenitors of fission xenon in carbonaceous chondrites

  • W. M. Howard
  • M. Arnould
  • J. W. Truran
Letter to the Editor


We suggest that the unidentified fission xenon component in carbonaceous chondrites may be attributable to the decay of the extinct radioactivities250Cm and, to a lesser extent,258Cm. Two assumptions are fundamental to this picture: (1) these relatively short-lived actinides (1.13×104 and 3.7×105 yr, respectively) were incorporated into grains in the vicinity of their supernova birthplace (prior to decay); and (2) such grains and their trapped anomalous xenon component were incorporated intact into the meteorites. Recognizing the many substantial uncertainties associated with our suggested model, we emphasize the importance of precise experimental determinations of the mass spectra of fission xenon resulting from250Cm and248Cm decay.


Mass Spectrum Xenon Experimental Determination Suggested Model Carbonaceous Chondrite 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. Howard
    • 1
  • M. Arnould
    • 1
  • J. W. Truran
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of AstronomyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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