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Earth Sciences & Geography - Earth System Sciences | Micrometeorites and the Mysteries of Our Origins

Micrometeorites and the Mysteries of Our Origins

Maurette, M.

2006, XVI, 330 p.

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This book relates an attempt to decrypt the still-obscure first billion years of history of the young Earth, during a cataclysmic period during which our planet was heavily bombarded by bodies ranging in size from that of Mars to 0.1 mm sized tiny micrometeorites. It was thus found that micrometeorites played an essential role in the formation of the post-lunar atmosphere. They also provided a surprisingly large diversity of reactions in the organic prebiotic chemistry required for the birth of life on our blue planet. The author presents a wide-ranging review of the type of knowledge required to decrypt this history, which provides extensive background information from astronomy, planetary dynamics, planetology, astrobiology and earth sciences. This book will appeal to both the scientist and the general reader. It will be a source of material for lectures, and possibly new investigations, in these fields.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Climatology - Evolution - Greenhouse effect - Planet - Solar - Solar System - astrobiology - early earth - exobiology - geophysics - meteors - micrometeorites - origin of life

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

Table of contents 

Staging the Cosmic Theater.- Solar System Bodies and “Primitiveness”.- The Power of Wetherill’s Friend, Jupiter.- The Earth–Moon System in a Gigantic Cosmic “Firing” Range.- A Microscopic Suspect for the Formation of the Earth’s Atmosphere.- “Primitive” Extraterrestrial Matter on the Earth.- The Space Collector “Earth”.- Classification of Meteorites and Micrometeorites.- The Major Contribution of Micrometeorites to the Delivery of Hydrous–Carbonaceous Material to the Earth.- Formation of the Post-Lunar Earth’s Atmosphere.- The Inadequacy of Previous Scenarios.- A Prime Suspect for the Formation of the Atmosphere.- Formation of the Post-lunar Atmosphere.- The Mysterious Fate of Early Micrometeoritic Oxygen.- Exobiology with Unmelted Micrometeorites.- The Birth of Life on the Early Earth.- Microscopic Chondritic Chemical Reactors.- Radiation Reprocessing of Organics by Energetic Ions in Space.- Micrometeorite Ashes in Exobiology and Early Climatology.- First Hints.- Micrometeorite and Minimeteorite Ashes in Prebiotic Chemistry.- Micrometeorites in the Post-lunar Greenhouse Effect.- Micrometeorites in Comparative Planetology.- Micrometeoritic Iridium in the Earth’s Mantle with the Hartmann Conjuncture.- Micrometeoritic Neon on the Earth.- The Micrometeoritic Purity of the Atmosphere and Early Earth’s Processes.- Extrapolation of EMMA to the Moon and Mars.- Parent Bodies of Micrometeorites and Early Solar System Processes.- The “Hunt” for Micrometeorites Parent Bodies.- No Consensus About the Early History of the Lunar Impact Flux.- Micrometeorites and Early Solar System Processes.- Challenges Ahead.- Relationships with CM-type Chondrites.- The Enigmatic Differences between Stratospheric and Antarctic Micrometeorites.- The World of Hidden Biases: From Collection to Sample Processing.- Stardust Attacks in Bob Laboratory for Space Sciences.- Challenges Still to Be Appropriately Addressed.- Science and Fiction.- Summary.- Epilogue: The Birth of “Micrometeoritics”.

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