posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 07:48 PM
FIRE sweeping through the inner solar system may have scorched away much of the carbon from Earth and the other inner planets.
Though our planet supports carbon-based life, it has a mysterious carbon deficit. The element is thousands of times more abundant in comets in the
outer solar system than on Earth, relative to the amount of silicon each body contains. The sun is similarly rich in carbon. "There really wasn't
that much carbon that made it onto Earth compared to what was available," says Edwin Bergin of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The carbon that Earth now contains must have been delivered later by asteroids and comets that formed beyond the reach of the early fire, the
researchers say. This may have had a hidden benefit: chemical reactions in the outer solar system could have transformed simple carbon compounds into
more complex molecules such as amino acids, which are
key ingredients of life, Bergin says.
If there wasn't enough carbon the earth may been without life for millions of years, once astroids and the like started bombarding earth they brought
carbon along with them.