Water and organics in meteorites

Queenie Hoi Shan Chan, Michael Zolensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The planet Earth incorporates tons of extraterrestrial materials on a daily basis. Meteorites represent some of the largest, most pristine (uncontaminated) and primitive (unaltered) specimens which offer glimpses of the early history of our solar system. Meteorites have brought to Earth not only water, but also a plethora of organic compounds, some of which are known to play an indispensable role in extant biology. Although these meteoritic molecules were chemically equivalent to those used in biology, they were synthesized in situ on the asteroidal parent bodies via complex chemical pathways, some of which require the presence of liquid water—another essential prerequisite for life. This chapter discusses the recent developments in our understanding of the water and organic inventories of meteorites, their possible origins, co-evolution, and final delivery to the early Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Astrobiology
ISBN (Electronic)9780128241622
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2022

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