Meteorites formed during the birth of the Solar System have helped scientists pinpoint the origin of organic materials necessary for the formation of life on Earth. The finding could also help astronomers explore the possible habitability of planets in other solar systems.
Carbonaceous chondrites are meteorites created from chondritic asteroids that are as old as the Solar System. Organic-rich carbonaceous chondrites are especially rare, encompassing only a few percent of all known meteorites. They consist of the first solid materials – rocks, organics, water ice and fine grain dust – formed in the early Solar System 4.5 billion years ago. When discovered on Earth and analyzed, such meteorites can act much like a time capsule, storing essential clues and revealing information to help scientists understand how planets formed and changed over billions of years. Read more.