Sunday 21 December, 2014

Missing Xenon gas may be resting in earth’s belly: Study

Published On: Tue, Apr 22nd, 2014 | Atmospheric chemistry | By BioNews

The missing noble gas Xenon did not leave atmosphere and disappeared into space but may be resting at earth’s core, a thrilling study reveals.

Xenon is a noble gas. Like other noble gases such as helium and neon, it is mostly chemically inert.

According to Chinese researchers, the mystery where did the gas vanish may finally be resolved: Xenon may chemically react with iron and nickel in earth’s core where it is held.

Earth’s core, which contains about one-third of the planet’s mass, is made of iron and nickel.

According to Yanming Ma, a computational physicist at Jilin University in Changchun, China, earth’s core may hold the missing xenon.

Ma and his colleagues reasoned that, if the structures of iron-xenon compounds are different, they could form a compound.

It suggested that at the extreme temperatures and pressures found in earth’s core, xenon can bond with both iron and nickel.

“We do hope future high-pressure experiments can be carried out to confirm our predictions,” Ma was quoted as saying in media reports.

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