Carbon on Earth is delivered from the interstellar medium

(ORDO NEWS) —  According to new research by Jackie Lee, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, most of the carbon on Earth was likely to have come from the interstellar medium. This material exists in the space between stars in the Galaxy.

Carbon is an essential element for life, but its behavior during Earth’s accretion is not well understood. Scientists know that the carbon on the planet must exist in the right proportion to keep it alive.

For example, if there is too much carbon on Earth, it will become similar to Venus, where absorbed heat from the Sun will heat the atmosphere to about 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius). If there is little carbon on the Earth, then it will turn into Mars, where there is no water or life, and the ambient temperature will be about minus 60.

Previously, researchers believed that carbon on Earth was formed from molecules that were originally present in hazy interstellar gas. Then, when the gases cooled, molecules formed in the rocky planet.

Now the team of scientists has come to the conclusion that the gas molecules that carry carbon cannot participate in the construction of the Earth, since carbon evaporates and does not settle as condensation on a solid.

Scientists have found that carbon cannot condense back into organic form. In this regard, experts concluded that most of the carbon on Earth is most likely inherited directly from the interstellar medium, while completely avoiding evaporation.


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