Carbon is an essential element for life but its behavior during Earth’s accretion is not well understood.
Carbonaceous grains in meteoritic and cometary materials suggest that irreversible sublimation, and not condensation, governs carbon acquisition by terrestrial worlds. Through astronomical observations and modeling we show that the sublimation front of carbon carriers in the solar nebula, or the soot line, moved inward quickly so that carbon-rich ingredients would be available for accretion at 1 au after the first million years.
On the other hand, geological constraints firmly establish a severe carbon deficit in Earth, requiring the destruction of inherited carbonaceous organics in the majority of its building blocks. The carbon-poor nature of the Earth thus implies carbon loss in its precursor material through sublimation within the first million years.
Jie Li, Edwin A. Bergin, Geoffrey A. Blake, Fred J. Ciesla, Marc M. Hirschmann
Comments: 21 pages including main article and supplementary materials Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph) Journal reference: Science Advances published 02 Apr 2021: Vol. 7, no. 14, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd3632 Cite as: arXiv:2104.02702 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2104.02702v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version) Submission history From: Edwin A. Bergin [v1] Tue, 6 Apr 2021 17:51:39 UTC (1,636 KB) https://arxiv.org/abs/2104.02702 Astrobiology