- © 2015 by the Mineralogical Society of America
The distribution and abundances of H2O and other volatiles in our Solar System are of fundamental interest because of the important roles volatiles play in geological and biological processes. Apatite, Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH), is a ubiquitous accessory mineral and provides a consistent window into volatile abundances and processes across the Solar System and throughout its history. Consequently, the chemical composition of apatite can be used as a tool for exploring such diverse topics as the compositions and roles of the Solar System's earliest fluids on asteroids, the volatile abundances of planetary bodies, and the habitability of past environments (e.g. on Mars) for life as we know it.