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comet bacteria

7 July 2015

At http://phys.org/print355384512.html .. comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko is being studied in detail by the ESA Rosetta spacecraft and the Philae Lander. Lots of vested interests are involved – not least the Electric Universe theory. However, the Wickramasinghe and Hoyle theory of life from outer space (bacteria riding on comets and meteorites) is also up for confirmation – or denial.

Chandra Wickramasinghe is now based at Buckingham University. Previously he was at Cardiff University (for many years) and his co-author Max Wallis is still based in Wales. Hence, their talk at the Llandudno meeting of the National Astronomical get together on 6th July (2015). The comet, they say, seems to have a black crust – and underlying ice. Images show smooth areas, flat bottomed craters and a surface that is mostly peppered with boulders. Crater lakes are re-frozen on each journey around perihelion and it is thought they have organic debris. Parallel furrows have an origin in the flexing of the asymmetric and spinning double lobed body – which generates fracturing below the crust. Wallis says the features are consistent with a mixture of ice and organic material that consolidate under the influence of the Sun's warmth during its orbit through the solar system and therefore the comet is able to support micro-organisms.

In their model micro-organisms require liquid water bodies to colonise the comet and this may be located in cracks supporting ice and snow. As the comet moves towards perihelion out-gassing is expected to increase and micro-organisms may become active.

The so called dwarf planet C eres is also proving to have a pocket full of surprises. At http://phys.org/print355331902.html .. some of these are discussed, such as a pyramid shaped mountain and mysterious bright spots, and craters on what is described as a rough surface.

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