Origin of life-forming volatile elements in the inner Solar System

Michael W. Broadley, David V. Bekaert, Laurette Piani, Evelyn Füri & Bernard Marty

Review, Published: 09 November 2022


“Volatile elements such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are essential ingredients to build habitable worlds like Earth, but their origin and evolution on terrestrial planets remain highly debated. Here we discuss the processes that distributed these elements throughout the early Solar System and how they then became incorporated into planetary building blocks. Volatiles on Earth and the other terrestrial planets appear to have been heterogeneously sourced from different Solar System reservoirs. The sources of planetary volatiles and the timing at which they were accreted to growing planets probably play a crucial role in controlling planet habitability.”