Limits for the Accretion Time of the Earth from Cosmogenic 21Ne Produced in Planetesimals

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Arguments are presented which show that no more than 23% of all neon-21 in the atmosphere consists of spallation Ne-21 formed by the bombardment of the earth's accreting objects by galactic cosmic rays. The amount of spallation Ne-21 depends strongly on the interpretation of the primitive, 'unirradiated' neon in the atmosphere. On the assumptions that (1) the planetesimals were irradiated by galactic cosmic rays of present-day intensity, (2) their mean lifetimes against accretion were 0.1 billion years, and (3) spallation Ne-21 was quantitatively retained by the accreting earth, and on the basis of Anders' (1965) reconstructed size distribution No. 2 of asteroids, the number of spallation Ne-21 atoms yielded amounts to 8.7% of the total number of Ne-21 atoms now on earth.


Physics and Astronomy

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Seventh Lunar Science Conference

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