News FocusLunar and Planetary Science Conference

Coaxing Out Another Taste of the Sun

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Science  19 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5972, pp. 1448-1449
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5972.1448-b

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At the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, team members of the Genesis mission, which returned atomic bits of the sun and thus samples of the solar system's primordial material, confirmed their measurement of the isotopic composition of the solar wind's oxygen and reported an isotopic composition for solar-wind nitrogen. Compared with the solar wind, nitrogen on Earth is heavy, they say. By such threads will hang the story of how the stuff of stars became planets.