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CHON is an mnemonic acronym for the four most common elements in living organisms: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. These four elements are also notable for being the least massive (and having the lowest atomic number) in their group in the periodic table.
Additional recommended knowledge
Carbonaceous asteroids are rich in CHON elements. These asteroids are the most common type and frequently collide with Earth (as meteorites). Such collisions were especially common early in Earth's history and these meteorites may have been crucial in the formation of life on Earth.
Excluding noble gases, the CHON elements are the most common:
CHON is featured in science fiction as the elements needed to sustain life in space colonies or as a lucrative space industry. In particular, CHON featured prominently in Frederik Pohl's Beyond the Blue Event Horizon which had an overpopulated Earth with 25 billion inhabitants. In this novel, a CHON "food factory" was discovered in the Oort cloud. This factory was mining carbonaceous asteroids which are high in CHON elements, and synthesizing edible food from them.
Further, the acronym CHONPS may be used which is:
This represents six of the 26 elements commonly found in living things.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "CHON". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|