- © 2011 by the Mineralogical Society of America
The early Solar System contained a wide range of abiotic organic compounds. As the Solar System evolved, these organic molecules were incorporated into planetesimals and eventually planetary bodies, such as the parent bodies of meteorites. One particular class of meteorites, the carbonaceous meteorites, contains a large variety of extraterrestrial organic compounds. These compounds represent a record of the chemical reactions and conditions in the early Solar System. Different formation mechanisms and sources (interstellar, nebular or parent body) contributed to the inventory of meteoritic organic molecules. Their subsequent delivery to the early Earth may have contributed the first prebiotic building blocks of life.