Comets and the Origin of Life

Proceedings of the Fifth College Park Colloquium on Chemical Evolution, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, U.S.A., October 29th to 31st, 1980

  • Cyril Ponnamperuma

Part of the Proceedings of the College Park Colloquia book series (PCPC, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Fred L. Whipple
    Pages 1-20
  3. P. D. Feldman
    Pages 31-41
  4. Michael F. A’Hearn
    Pages 53-61
  5. W. F. Huebner
    Pages 91-103
  6. Alexander I. Ershkovich
    Pages 105-109
  7. P. I. Abell, A. E. Fallick, N. J. McNaughton, C. T. Pillinger
    Pages 129-139
  8. A. H. Delsemme
    Pages 141-159
  9. Joel S. Levine, Tommy R. Augustsson, Robert E. Boughner, Murali Natarajan, Lawrence J. Sacks
    Pages 161-190
  10. Antonio R. Lazcano-Araujo, J. Oró
    Pages 191-225
  11. Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe
    Pages 227-239
  12. Laurel L. Wilkening
    Pages 249-254
  13. Linda G. Pleasant
    Pages 255-268
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 269-282

About these proceedings


The return of Halley's Cornet in 1986 has generated much ex­ citement in the scientific community with preparations already afoot for an International Cornet Watch and a cornet launch by the European Space Community, the Japanese and Soviet Space Scientists. The meet­ ing held at the University of Maryland in October 1980 was primarily stimulated by the preparations for further study of this cornet and by one of the most important unanswered questions related to comets, name­ ly, whether they may have made a eontribution to the origin of life on earth. Our un"derstanding of the role of comets in the origin of life must necessarily come from our studies of the astronomy and the chem­ istry of comets. Some clues to the processes which led to the for­ mation of organic molecules and eventually to the appearance of life have come from these studies of comets, perhaps the most ancient of all objects in our solar system. Whether there is, however, a biology of comets still remains to be seen, although some claims have been made that perhaps comets might themselves provide an environment for even the beginnings of life. Scientists with the latest available information on comets and differing opinions as to the role of comets in the origin of life attended this symposium. The formal papers presented are now being made available to the students of chemical evolution within the pages of this volume.


Europe atmosphere biology chemistry environment evolution formation isotope solar system

Editors and affiliations

  • Cyril Ponnamperuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical Evolution, Department of ChemistryUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1981
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-8530-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-8528-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site