Proposed Explanation of Luminous Particles Observed in Glenn Orbital Flight

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Science  29 Jun 1962:
Vol. 136, Issue 3522, pp. 1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.136.3522.1121


It is proposed that the luminous particles observed by John Glenn in his orbital flight are condensed nitrogen and possibly oxygen. Irradiation by the sun would produce excited trapped radicals, which would radiate in ways consistent with the observed behavior of the particles.