From meteorites to evolution and habitability of planets
De Keyser, J.
Van Hoost, T.
Early solar systems
Planets and satellites
MetadataShow full item record
The evolution of planets is driven by the composition, structure, and thermal state of their internal core, mantle, lithosphere, and crust, and by interactions with a possible ocean and/or atmosphere. A planet's history is a long chronology of events with possibly a sequence of apocalyptic events in which asteroids, comets and their meteorite offspring play an important role. Large meteorite impacts on the young Earth could have contributed to the conditions for life to appear, and similarly large meteorite impacts could also create the conditions to erase life or drastically decrease biodiversity on the surface of the planet. Meteorites also contain valuable information to understand the evolution of a planet through their gas inclusion, their composition, and their cosmogenic isotopes. This paper addresses the evolution of the terrestrial bodies of our Solar System, in particular through all phenomena related to meteorites and what we can learn from them. This includes our present understanding of planet formation, their interior, their atmosphere, and the effects and relations of meteorites with respect to these reservoirs. It brings further insight into the origin and sustainability of life on planets, including Earth. Particular attention is devoted to Earth and Mars, as well as to planets and satellites possessing an atmosphere (Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan) or a subsurface ocean (e.g.; Europa), because those are the best candidates for hosting life. Though the conditions on the planets Earth, Mars, and Venus were probably similar soon after their formation, their histories have diverged about 4 billion years ago. The search for traces of life on early Earth serves as a case study to refine techniques/environments allowing the detection of potential habitats and possible life on other planets. A strong emphasis is placed on impact processes, an obvious shaper of planetary evolution, and on meteorites that document early Solar System evolution and witness the geological processes taking place on other planetary bodies.
CitationDehant, V.; Breuer, D.; Claeys, P.; Debaille, V.; De Keyser, J.; Javaux, E.; Goderis, S.; Karatekin, O.; Spohn, T.; Vandaele, A.; Vanhaecke, F.; Van Hoost, T.; Wilquet, V. (2012). From meteorites to evolution and habitability of planets. , Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 72, Issue 1, 3-17, DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2012.05.018.