Chapter 9: Interstellar Chemistry, Astrobiology, and the Origin of Life
Published:08 Feb 2023
2023. "Interstellar Chemistry, Astrobiology, and the Origin of Life", Astrochemistry, David A Williams, Cesare Cecchi-Pestellini
Download citation file:
We examine the idea that life may have arisen as a consequence of chemistry occurring in non-living (abiotic) matter, a concept known as abiogenesis. We describe how the formation of stars and planets may provide locations favourable for abiogenesis, and we discuss the chemical and mineralogical diversity in various regions of the solar system. Using evidence from many relevant laboratory experiments we discuss the suitability of these regions for abiogenesis. The difficulties associated with proceeding from a rich chemistry of organic molecules to a chemistry organized and controlled by RNA and DNA are described. There is still much to discover.