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From Dust to LifeThe Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System$
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John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175706

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175706.001.0001

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Cosmic Archaeology

Cosmic Archaeology

(p.1) One Cosmic Archaeology
From Dust to Life

John Chambers

Jacqueline Mitton

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the process of how the solar system had to take form from the near nothingness of interstellar space. Scientists pondering the history of the solar system are much like archaeologists sifting through the sands of Egypt. They bring different methods and tools to the job, but both strive to glean as much as possible from precious relics from the past, and combine this with information deduced from the current surroundings. Deciphering the history of the solar system is archaeology on a grand scale. For human society to arise, species needed to evolve from those that went before. Prior to this, life had to appear on a suitably habitable planet orbiting a long-lived star.

Keywords:   solar system, interstellar space, nothingness, scientists, archaeologists, human society, habitable planet

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