Organic Matter in Interplanetary Dusts and Meteorites

  • Eric QuiricoEmail author
  • Lydie Bonal
Part of the Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics book series (ASTROBIO)


Asteroids and comets have continuously delivered organics to Earth and telluric planets since their formation ~4.55 Ga ago. Characterizing these organics and investigating their origin constitutes a major goal of astrobiology and planetary sciences. This chapter reviews past and current knowledge on the nature of the exogenous organics accreted by the Earth, their composition and structure and different issues regarding their origin and subsequent evolution through the effects of secondary processes in/on their original asteroidal or cometary parent bodies. Tertiary processes such as weathering and, in the case of dust, the heating and oxidation effects during atmospheric entry, are also discussed. The last section focuses on the nature and preservation of organics at the surface of Mars, in the context of the ExoMars and Mars2020 missions.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de GrenobleGrenobleFrance

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