Preface. n1 The Synthesis of the Elements and the Formation of Stars; M. Spaans. n2 Organic Molecules in the Interstellar Medium; T.J. Millar. n3 Chemistry of Protoplanetary Disks Relation to Primitive Solar System Material; A.J. Markwick and S.B. Charnley. n4 Planet Formation: Problems and Prospects; G. Wuchterl. n5 From Elemental Carbon to Complex Macromolecular Networks in Space; F. Cataldo. n6 Organic Molecules in Planetary Atmospheres; M. Roos-Serote. n7 Observations and Laboratory Data of Planetary Organics; T.L. Rousch and D.P. Cruikshank. n8 The Molecular Complexity of Comets; J. Crovisier. n9 Kuiper belt: Water and Organics; C. de Bergh. n10 Interplanetary Dust Particles and Astrobiology; F.J. Molster. n11 The Prebiotic Atmosphere of the Earth; F. Selsis. n12 Early Life on Earth: The Ancient Fossil Record; F. Westall. n13 Highly Altered Organic Matter on Earth: Biosignature Relevance; B.A. Hofmann. n14 Insoluble Organic Matter in Carbonaceous Chondrites and Archean Cherts. An Insight into their Structure by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance; L. Binet, D. Gourier, A. Skrzypczak, S. Derenne, and F. Robert. n15 The Chemistry of the Origin of Life; O. Botta. n16 A Novel Synthesis of Biomolecular Precursors; R. Saladino, C. Creestini, F. Ciciriello, G. Costanzo, R. Negri, and E. Di Mauro.
Astrobiology, a new exciting interdisciplinary research field, seeks to unravel the origin and evolution of life wherever it might exist in the Universe. The current view of the origin of life on Earth is that it is strongly connected to the origin and evolution of our planet and, indeed, of the Universe as a whole.
We are fortunate to be living in an era where centuries of speculation about the two ancient and fundamental problems: the origin of life and its prevalence in the Universe are being replaced by experimental science. The subject of Astrobiology can be approached from many different perspectives. This book is focused on abiogenic organic matter from the viewpoint of astronomy and planetary science and considers its potential relevance to the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere.
Guided by the review papers in this book, the concluding chapter aims to identify key questions to motivate future research and stimulate astrobiological applications of current and future research facilities and space missions. Today's rich array of new spacecraft, telescopes and dedicated scientists promises a steady flow of discoveries and insights that will ultimately lead us to the answers we seek.
A new and exciting interdisciplinary research field. The current ideas are that the origin and evolution of life is strongly connected to Earth and to the Universe as a whole
30 top experts in the fields that comprise Astrobiology contributed to this book
Reflects the state-of-the-art concerning the selected topics and gives a glimpse at the future of exciting research in Astrobiology