Meteorites are extraterrestrial objects that survive the impact on the Earth's surface. A particular class of meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites, are very old, having remained nearly unaltered since the formation of the solar system approximately 4.6 billion years ago. They contain a rich organic inventory of abiotic molecules with important roles in present day biochemistry. The present article describes the organic compounds present in meteorites, their sources and how to distinguish extraterrestrial organic matter from their terrestrial counterparts.

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