Young Sun, Early Earth and the Origins of Life: Lessons for Astrobiology
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 11, 2013 - Science - 301 pages
- How did the Sun come into existence?
- How was the Earth formed?
- How long has Earth been the way it is now, with its combination of oceans and continents?
- How do you define “life”?
- How did the first life forms emerge?
- What conditions made it possible for living things to evolve?
All these questions are answered in this colourful textbook addressing undergraduate students in "Origins of Life" courses and the scientifically interested public. The authors take the reader on an amazing voyage through time, beginning five thousand million years ago in a cloud of interstellar dust and ending five hundred million years ago, when the living world that we see today was finally formed. A chapter on exoplanets provides an overview of the search for planets outside the solar system, especially for habitable ones.
The appendix closes the book with a glossary, a bibliography of further readings and a summary of the Origins of the Earth and life in fourteen boxes.
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2 Formation and Early Infancy of the Earth
3 Water Continents and Organic Matter
The Gestation of Life and its First Steps
5 The Late Heavy Bombardment
6 The Messages from the Oldest Terrestrial Rocks
7 A Planet Where Life Diversifies
8 Other Planets Other Living Worlds ?
Young Sun Early Earth and the Origins of Life
abiotic accretion activity amino acids appeared Archaean atmosphere atoms bacteria basalts carbon cells cenancestor Chap chemical chondrites circumstellar disk complex composition consisting contain continental crust craters craton cyanobacteria Earth elements emergence energy environment eukaryotes evolution evolutionary example exoplanets favor feldspar formation fossil genes genetic glaciation gneisses greenhouse effect greenstone belt Hadean hydrogen hydrothermal hypothesis isotopic Isua Jack Hills known komatiites Late Heavy Bombardment liquid water lithospheric living magma ocean mantle mass mechanism melting membrane metabolism meteorites microfossils mid-ocean ridges million minerals models molecular nebula nucleotides observed oceanic crust oldest orbit organic matter organic molecules origin oxidized oxygen pathways photosynthesis Pilbara Pilbara craton plagioclase planetary plate possible prebiotic chemistry present present-day primitive prokaryotes proteins reactions result RNA world rocks scenario sedimentary sediments silicates Solar System stellar stromatolites structure subduction surface synthesis tectonics temperature terrestrial tion volcanic zircon crystals zircons