Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Carbonaceous Chondrite

  • Tilman Spohn
  • Frank Sohl
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_233-3



Carbonaceous chondrites constitute a subcategory of chondrites – which in turn are stony meteorites. Carbonaceous chondrites are the most primitive meteorites identified thus far and are mostly regarded as remnants of the first solid bodies to accrete in the solar nebula. The main components of carbonaceous chondrites are chondrules and CAIs (Ca-Al-rich inclusions), which are embedded in a matrix of micrometer-sized dust particles. Since carbonaceous chondrites contain the highest concentration of volatile elements and molecules (e.g., organic refractory matter) of the chondrites, they are thought to have formed at the lowest temperatures. Their chemical composition is very similar to that of the Sun (albeit depleted in hydrogen and helium), and thus they can be considered (apart from comets) to be the most primitive material present in our solar system.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Solar System Dust Particle System Formation Solid Body 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)Institut für PlanetenforschungBerlinGermany