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Returning to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge after a spell at the nuclear research labs of CERN in Geneva, Professor Isaac Newton is plunged into the centre of a baffling mystery. One of his research students, Mike Howarth, has picked up strange signals on his satellite telemetry equipment, signals that appear to emanate from a passing comet. Not long after he has passed the vital data into Isaac Newton's hands, Howarth is found dead. Soon after that, it becomes clear that some people in very high places - including the Kremlin and the White House - are more than a little interested in the remarkable events taking place at the Cavendish. But with the arrival of that most majestic of all celestial bodies, Comet Halley, a third and infinitely more powerful superpower enters the scene. And the Comet's extraordinary intentions - not to mention its devastating methods of communicating them to Earth - promise a new dawn for humanity.
Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001)
Sir Fred Hoyle was a famous English astronomer noted primarily for the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his often controversial stances on other scientific matters-in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term coined by him on BBC radio. He has authored hundreds of technical articles, as well as textbooks, popular accounts of science and two autobiographies. In addition to his work as an astronomer, Hoyle was a writer of science fiction, including a number of books co-written with his son Geoffrey Hoyle. Hoyle spent most of his working life at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and served as its director for a number of years. He was knighted in 1972 and died in Bournemouth, England, after a series of strokes.