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Explaining Earth’s Carbon: Enter the ‘Soot Line’

6 Apr 2021, 19:45 UTC
Explaining Earth’s Carbon: Enter the ‘Soot Line’ ESA

Let’s take a look at how Earth’s carbon came to be here, through the medium of two new papers. This is a process most scientists have assumed involved molecules in the original solar nebula that wound up on our world through accretion as the gases cooled and the carbon molecules precipitated. But the first of the papers (both by the same team, though with different lead authors) points out that gas molecules carrying carbon won’t do the trick. When carbon vaporizes, it does not condense back into a solid, and that calls for some explanation.

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