Deuterium Fractionation: the Ariadne's Thread from the Pre-collapse Phase to Meteorites and Comets today


The Solar System formed about 4.6 billion years ago from a condensation of matter inside a molecular cloud. Trying to reconstruct what happened is the goal of this chapter. For that, we put together our understanding of Galactic objects that will eventually form new suns and planetary systems, with our knowledge on comets, meteorites and small bodies of the Solar System today. Our specific tool is the molecular deuteration, namely the amount of deuterium with respect to hydrogen in molecules. This is the Ariadne's thread that helps us to find the way out from a labyrinth of possible histories of our Solar System. The chapter reviews the observations and theories of the deuterium fractionation in pre-stellar cores, protostars, protoplanetary disks, comets, interplanetary dust particles and meteorites and links them together trying to build up a coherent picture of the history of the Solar System formation. We emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of the chapter, which gathers together researchers from different communities with the common goal of understanding the Solar System history.Comment: Accepted for publication as a chapter in Protostars and Planets VI, University of Arizona Press (2014), eds. H. Beuther, R. Klessen, C. Dullemond, Th. Hennin

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