Comet Encke: Meteor Metallic Ion Identification by Mass Spectrometer

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Science  20 Apr 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4083, pp. 294-296
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4083.294


Metal ions including 23+ (Na+), 24+ (Mg+) 28+ (Si+), 39+ (K+), 40+ (Ca+), 45+ (Sc+), 52+ Cr+). 56+ (Fe+), and 58+ (Ni+) have been detected in the upper atmosphere during the period of the Beta Taurids meteor shower. The abundances of these ions relative to Si+ show, agreement in most instances with abundances in chondrites. A notable exception is 45+, which, if it is Sc+, is 100 times more abundant than neutral scandium found in chondrites.