Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

Issue Contents

Other pages












Shortly after Hyakutake's X-rays were announced, a fourth theory of origin was put forth by acknowledged heretics C. Wickramasinghe and F. Hoyle. Comet Hyakutake, they said, was not emitting X-rays itself. Instead, solar X-rays were mirrored in earth's direction by a cloud of very tiny carbon-containing particles released by the comet. Electrons in these nanometer-sized particles acted as if they were free electrons, and these are excellent scatterers of X-rays. Anyone familiar with the writings of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe can guess what these nanometer-sized particles might be: viruses, of course!

Said Wickramasinghe:

"It all fits in the the idea that there are real viruses in comets and that comets are the agents by which life is brought to planets."

(Chown, Marcus; "Do X-ray Comets Shed Carbon?" New Scientist, p. 19, May 11, 1996)

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