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Claire de Thoisy-Méchin

Press Relations

Tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 23 34

Email: claire.de_thoisy-mechin@upmc.fr


In English:

Katherine Tyrka

International Press Relations

tel. +33 (0)1 44 27 51 05

Email: katherine.tyrka@upmc.fr

Rosetta: The first results of the ROSINA instrument

First measurements by the Rosetta mission's ROSINA instrument show that the deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is highly enriched in deuterium. These results contradict the theory that the water present in the Earth's atmosphere and oceans has a cometary origin. They also indicate that 67P comets do not all come from one region, the Kuiper Belt: some may have originated in the Oort Cloud. This international study, which involved laboratories from the CNRS, Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, UPMC, UVSQ, Université d’Orléans, Université de Lorraine and Université de Franche-Comté, with support from CNES, is published in Science Express on 10 December 2014. Read the full press release.Nouvelle fenêtre


The researchers now aim to continue elucidating the chemical and isotopic composition of the atmosphere of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's, especially for gaseous species other than hydrogen, such as noble gases and nitrogen. These measurements should make it possible to undertake a detailed exploration of the origin of the volatile elements on Earth that allowed the emergence of life.


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The scientists at LATMOS who are involved in the Rosetta mission. © UPMC - Pierre Kitmacher

For more information:

The French researchers involved in Rosetta's ROSINA instrument work at:

- The Space Atmospheres, Environments and Observations Laboratory (laboratoire atmosphères, milieux, observations spatiales (LATMOS, CNRS/UPMC/UVSQ))Nouvelle fenêtre

- Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie (IRAP, CNRS/Université Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier).

Right from the start, both these laboratories played a major role in the ROSINA experiment, whose Principal Investigator is Pr Kathrin Altwegg from the University of Berne.

- Laboratoire de physique et chimie de l’environnement et de l’espace (LPC2E, CNRS/Université d’Orléans),

- Centre de recherches pétrographiques et géochimiques (CRPG, CNRS/Université de Lorraine), - laboratoire Univers, transport, interfaces, nanostructures, atmosphère et environnement, molécules (Institut UTINAM, CNRS/Université de Franche-Comté).


The work received backing in particular from the CNES, ESA and ERC.



67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter Family Comet with a high D/H ratio. Altwegg K. *1, H. Balsiger, A. Bar-Nun, J.J. Berthelier, A. Bieler, P. Bochsler, C. Briois, U. Calmonte, M. Combi, J. De Keyser, P. Eberhardt, B. Fiethe, S. Fuselier, S. Gasc, T. I. Gombosi, K.C. Hansen, M. Hässig, A. Jäckel, E. Kopp, A. Korth, L. LeRoy, U. Mall, B. Marty, O. Mousis, E. Neefs, T. Owen, H. Rème, M. Rubin, T. Sémon, C.-Y. Tzou, H. Waite, P. Wurz. Science express, le 10 décembre 2014.


Contact at Latmos:

Jean-Jacques Berthelier l Tel: +33 1 44 27 92 42 l jean-jacques.berthelier@latmos.ipsl.fr


Inset photo at top: The Rosetta and Philae photographed at Latmos. © UPMC - Pierre Kitmacher