Astrobiology, Planetary Science

Washington, DC — Molecules containing large chains of carbon and hydrogen--the building blocks of all life on Earth--have been the targets of missions to Mars from Viking to the present day.

Geochemistry

Washington, DC, 15 September 2011- New research provides direct evidence that the carbon from the Earth's surface can cycle deep into the mantle and then brought back.

Astrobiology, Planetary Science

Washington, DC—Meteorites hold a record of the chemicals that existed in the early Solar System and that may have been a crucial source of the organic compounds that gave rise to life on Earth.

Astrobiology, Geochemistry

Washington, DC— In the 1950s, biochemist Stanley Miller performed a series of experiments to demonstrate that organic compounds could be created under conditions mimicking the primordial Earth.

Astrobiology, Planetary Science

Washington, DC— Up to now scientists thought that the trace amounts of carbon on the surface of the Moon came from the solar wind. Now researchers at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory have detected and dated Moon carbon in the form of graphite—the sooty stuff of pencil lead—which survived from the late heavy bombardment era 3.8 billion years ago.

Astrobiology

Washington, DC — The evolution of complex life forms may have gotten a jump start billions of years ago, when geologic events operating over millions of years caused large quantities of phosphorus to wash into the oceans.

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