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No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

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"For the first time, researchers have found complex organic molecules on the Earth that came from outside the Solar System. American scientists say tiny sooty grains extracted from meteorites contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from interstellar dust clouds."

This article continues with an acknowledgement that F. Hoyle did predict way back in the 1950s that some of earth's organic matter came from outer space. And that he was roundly scoffed at.

Next, more evidence is presented suggesting that the universe is full of the basic ingredients of life: Recently, the spectrum of the amino acid glycine was detected near the center of our galaxy.

(Hecht, Jeff; "Stardust Brought Down to Earth," New Scientist, p. 17, March 23, 1996)

Cross reference. IN SF#101, we related how PAHs were found in meteorite ALH84001, which was picked up in the Antarctic, and which is believed to have originated on Mars.

From Science Frontiers #106, JUL-AUG 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987