A meteorite, weighing about 6 kilograms, of the type known
as a carbonaceous chondrite, which fell
outside Alais, France, at 5:30 pm on Mar. 15, 1806. It became the first
object from space in which organic chemicals were unequivically identified.
This conclusion came following an examination of the Alais meteorite, years
later, by Jöns Jakob Berzelius. In
his published analysis of 1834, Berzelius claimed that, in addition to clay
minerals, the meteorite contained complex carbon compounds which he had
distilled from a specimen extracted with water. His announcement ushered
in the study of organic substances that have originated beyond the Earth.
|The Alais meteorite
© Muséum National d¹Histoire Naturelle (France)
• organic matter in