- In 2005, a lot of reputations, multi-million dollar research
projects, and scientific institutions--including NASA itself--will suffer
catastrophically if the planned Deep Impact mission produces the "surprises"
expected by Wallace Thornhill, a leading theorist of the electric comet
- The Deep Impact craft was launched on Januray 12, 2005.
Its target is an unprecedented encounter with the nucleus of a comet. NASA
plans to fire an 820-pound copper "impactor" toward the nucleus
of Comet Tempel I, and it is expected that the projectile will strike the
surface at about 23,000 miles per hour. According to NASA scientists, the
result should be a release of energy equivalent to that of exploding 4.8
tons of TNT, creating a deep crater. Fittingly, the scheduled date for
the celestial fireworks is July 4, 2005.
- But all of NASA's expectations for the encounter are
tied to current ideas about comets. The conventional view is that comets
are inert chunks of ice and dust, or "dirty snowballs" evaporating
in the heat of the Sun. The alternative view is that comets discharge ELECTRICALLY
as they move through a radial electrical field of the Sun.
- No middle ground between the two views seems possible,
and if it happens that the Deep Impact projectile strikes a SOLID ROCK,
the snowball theory of comets is finished. Mainstream theorists will be
left without an explanation for a comet's coma and tail.
- While the electric universe model does not require that
the nucleus of Tempel 1 be devoid of water, Thornhill and other advocates
of the electric comet hypothesis think that a dry comet nucleus is most
- Indeed, NASA has already encountered dry cometary nuclei.
The surface of comet Borrelly, visited in 2001, proved to be bone dry,
prompting investigators to suggest that water must be hidden beneath the
surface. Nor did the Stardust flyby of comet Wild 2 in January 2004 identify
water on the surface of the nucleus.
- The problem with the supposition of subsurface ice is
that only a few inches of dry non-volatile surface material would be sufficient
to insulate the "ice" from the heat of the Sun. Meanwhile the
observed high speed jets are far more energetic than could be reasonably
expected even if there were NO insulating material. Nevertheless, the confidence
of investigators was unshaken by what they saw on Borrelly and Wild 2,
for surely the presence of water on comet nuclei is a fact!
- The standard theory, it seems, has been kept alive by
the discovery of water in comet comas and tails, not on the nucleus itself.
But what is the source of the water in comet tails? Ironically, electrical
activity within cometary comas may have deceived investigators into thinking
that their model is intact. Here is why:
- The evidence suggests that comets are highly negatively
charged with respect to the Sun. As they rush toward the Sun, the voltage
increases until at some point the comet nucleus begins to discharge. Electrons
are stripped from a few points on the comet surface where the electric
field is strongest. These "spark discharges" finely machine rocky
material from the surface to form a "cathode jet" of negatively
charged dust together with surface matter that has been torn apart to release
ionized atoms and molecules, INCLUDING OXYGEN.
- Under the conventional model there is no reason for the
high density of negative ions discovered near the comet nucleus. Negative
ions are difficult to produce by solar heating and are quickly destroyed
by solar radiation. Nevertheless, in March 1986 when the Giotto spacecraft
flew within 600km of Comet Halley, an abundance of negatively charged atoms
was discovered in the inner coma-direct evidence that a comet is the cathode
(negatively charged electrode) in an electric exchange with the Sun. A
few years later, scientists discovered an unexpected "forbidden oxygen"
line at 1128Å in the spectrum of Comet Austin. That line is consistent
with the presence of an intense electric field and/or densities in the
coma many orders of magnitude higher than those predicted from standard
- There is reason to believe that the positively charged
hydrogen ions from the solar wind react preferentially with the negatively
charged oxygen from the nucleus to generate the water observed surrounding
comets. The probe Vega 2 found the H2O (water) production by comet Halley
was one fifth of the OH production. But scientists had supposed that OH
was formed by photo-dissociation of H2O at some distance from the nucleus.
The report in Nature in May 1986 reads: "only indirect and sometimes
ambiguous evidence in favor of water has been found; indeed, some facts
appear to contradict this hypothesis." Thus, the authors suggest,
"This problem requires further analysis and may indicate the existence
of parents of OH other than H2O."
- Such a discovery is most simply explained if the parents
of OH were a combination of solar protons (hydrogen) and negative oxygen
ions electrically removed from silicates and other minerals in the nucleus.
The greater abundance of OH would then be expected. It then becomes clear
that the water we see is being produced through electrical exchange: Negatively
charged oxygen from the comet nucleus combines with the positively charged
hydrogen ions from the Sun, via the solar wind.
- Models of water production from comets assume it is sublimating
from the surface of the nucleus at a constant rate and expanding radially
outward at constant velocity. But neither of these assumptions is supported
by observations. The encounter with comet Wild 2 revealed that the removed
material is confined to very thin jets. A principal investigator also spoke
of energetic bursts "like a thunderbolt." The electrical model
of cometary discharge explains the observations: an electric field accelerates
matter in the jet; an electromagnetic "pinch effect" provides
densities in the thin jets many orders of magnitude higher than those predicted
from simple radial sublimation; and instabilities and fluctuations suddenly
relocate jets in exceedingly short periods of time.
- This model also explains a great number of other puzzles
about recent comet discoveries. Why are comet nuclei coal black as if they
have been burnt? If comet nuclei are merely sublimating in the Sun's heat,
why are they sharply cratered and rocky? They should be smooth like a melting
scoop of ice cream? Why are the comet jets so narrow and energetic? Why
do some comets sport an "anomalous" sunward spike? How can some
comets produce sulfur compounds like those found in the electric jets of
Jupiter's moon Io that require very high temperatures?
- Why is there a superabundance of extremely fine dust?
Why does the presence of water molecules increase with distance from the
nucleus - quite the reverse of what we should expect if water is driving
dust off the comet? Why do coma temperatures reach 2 million degrees?
- Often the events most disconcerting to conventional theory
are the things most quickly forgotten. While moving between the orbits
of Saturn and Uranus (14 times farther from the Sun than the Earth), Comet
Halley experienced an outburst that caused dust to stretch over some 300,000
km. At that distance from the Sun, the surface should be in deep freeze
at -200 degrees C. But it happened at a time when the Sun was at maximum
activity. This does not mean that the Sun was producing significantly more
heat but rather that there was a marked increase in the charged particles
from the solar wind, fueling an energetic discharge from the negatively
charged comet nucleus. The vast cloud of dust from the comet fits the electrical
machining model, but not the "sublimating ices" model.
- A direct confirmation of the electric connection came
unwittingly from the Chandra X-ray Observatory on July 14, 2000. At that
time, the Chandra telescope viewed the comet Linear repeatedly over a 2-hour
period, detecting unexpected X-rays from oxygen and nitrogen ions in the
coma of the comet. The capture of electrons from the negatively charged
comet by positively charged hydrogen ions in the solar wind is, of course,
nothing else than an electric discharge, nature's highly efficient means
of X-ray production.
- It needs to be understood that a loss of faith in standard
comet theory today would have drastic effects on all the theoretical sciences.
It would change the picture of the universe from microcosm to macrocosm.
An electric field sufficient to cause electrical discharging on a comet
beyond the orbit of Saturn would have the electric potential to power the
Sun. We could no longer ignore the cosmic electricians' claims: They tell
us that the Sun is not a nuclear furnace but an electric glow discharge;
its nuclear reactions are occurring not in the interior but in the atmosphere
of the Sun, where the intensity of the discharge is highest.
- The electric comet will mean that all theories about
the evolution of the solar system, including our earth, will have to be
reconsidered from the ground up. The nebular hypothesis of planetary origins,
claiming that the Sun and planets emerged gravitationally from a primordial
cloud, will no longer maintain its intellectual monopoly. The fabled "Oort
cloud," called upon to send comets into the inner solar system whenever
theorists need them, will instantly lose its rationale. And no longer will
it be permissible to assert that the planets have moved in clockwork fashion
for billions of years. And even the accumulated evidence of electrical
dramas and planetary upheaval in the HUMAN past will demand a reconsideration.
- Thanks to the contributions of new and more powerful
telescopes, it is now clear that electric events in our solar system have
countless analogs in deep space, all pointing to the pervasive role of
electricity in the heavens. Cosmological theories based on gravity will
not survive the victory of the electric comet. We have good reason, therefore,
to speak of a domino effect being unleashed, one that will set in motion
one of the great revolutions in human thought and perception.