Carbonaceous meteorites are fragments of ancient asteroids that have remained relatively unprocessed since the formation of the Solar System. These carbon-rich objects provide a record of prebiotic chemical evolution and a window on the early Solar System. Many compound classes are present reflecting a rich organic chemical environment during the formation of the planets. Recent theories suggest that similar extraterrestrial organic mixtures may have acted as the starting materials for life on Earth.
One contribution of 17 to a Triennial Issue ‘Astronomy and earth science’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society