Chapter 2. From the Big Bang to the Molecules of Life

  1. Dr. Gerda Horneck and
  2. Dr. Petra Rettberg
  1. Harry J. Lehto

Published Online: 7 FEB 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527618996.ch2

Complete Course in Astrobiology

Complete Course in Astrobiology

How to Cite

Lehto, H. J. (2007) From the Big Bang to the Molecules of Life, in Complete Course in Astrobiology (eds G. Horneck and P. Rettberg), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527618996.ch2

Editor Information

  1. DLR, Inst. of Aerospace Medicine, Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 FEB 2008
  2. Published Print: 23 FEB 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527406609

Online ISBN: 9783527618996



  • astrobiology;
  • big bang;
  • molecules of life;
  • building blocks of life;
  • first stars;
  • formation of C, O, N, S, P;
  • heavy elements;
  • first molecules CO and H2O;
  • interstellar matter;
  • generation of stars


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Building Blocks of Life

  • Big Bang: Formation of H and He

  • First Stars: Formation of Small Amounts of C, O, N, S and P and Other Heavy Elements

  • Normal Modern Stars, Bulk Formation of C, O, N, S, P and Other Heavy Elements

  • The First Molecules (CO and H2O)

  • Interstellar Matter

    • Interstellar Clouds

    • Interstellar Grains

      • Formation

      • Observed Properties

    • Ices

    • Molecules in the Gas Phase

      • Observed Properties

      • Formation of H2

      • Formation of CO and H2O

  • Generation of Stars: Formation of the Sun and Planets

    • Accretion Disk of the Sun

    • Formation of the Earth

    • Early Rain of Meteorites, Comets, Asteroids, and Prebiotic Molecules

    • D/H Ratio and Oceans

  • Further Reading

    • Books or Articles in Books

    • Articles in Journals

    • Web Sites

  • Questions for Students