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Astronomy - Astrobiology | Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life

Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life

Thomas, P.J., Hicks, R.D., Chyba, C.F., McKay, C.P. (Eds.)

Originally published as a monograph

2nd ed. 2006, XVII, 346 p.

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Nine years after the publication of Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life, one of the pioneering books in Astrobiology, this second edition revisits the role comets may have played in the origins and evolution of life. Recent analyses of Antarctic micrometeorites and ancient rocks in Australia and South Africa, the continuing progress in discovering complex organic macromolecules in comets, protostars and interstellar clouds, new insights into organic synthesis in comets, and numerical simulations of comet impacts on the Earth and other members of the solar system yield a spectacular wealth of new results.

This second edition is thus actually a new book. As the first edition it is intended as a comprehensive review of current research, accessible to graduate students and others new to the field. Each chapter was prepared by experts to give an overview of an aspect of the field, and carefully revised by the editors for uniformity in style and presentation.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Habitat - Planet - Solar System - astrobiology - biology - chemistry - evolution - exobiology - macromolecules - oceans - organic chemistry - planetology - solar - stellar - the origin

Related subjects » Astrobiology - Earth System Sciences - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - Geophysics & Geodesy - Organic Chemistry

Table of contents / Preface 

Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life.- The Origin of the Atmosphere and of the Oceans.- Cometary Micrometeorites in Planetology, Exobiology, and Early Climatology.- Macromolecules: From Star-Forming Regions to Comets to the Origins of Life.- Impact Delivery of Prebiotic Organic Matter to Planetary Surfaces.- Comets and Prebiotic Organic Molecules on Early Earth.- Impacts and the Early Evolution of Life.- Extraterrestrial Impact Episodes and Archaean to Early Proterozoic (3.8–2.4 Ga) Habitats of Life.- The Contemporary Hazard of Comet Impacts.- The Conditions for Liquid Water in Cometary Nuclei.- Spacecraft Missions to Comets.- Interstellar and Cometary Dust in Relation to the Origin of Life.

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