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If the voltage potential of our atmosphere is a few hundred thousand volts, then something similar should be true for the solar system as a whole. The electric potential between the inner and outer solar system should be enormous. An object moving from the outer to the inner regions, or visa versa, should experience electrical stress similar to that experienced by meteorites entering our atmosphere.

Comets, with their oblong orbits around our Sun, should display evidence of electrical activity, which is exactly what they do.

Long before comets enter regions warm enough to melt water, they develop long tails rich in water.

However, comets are not icy bodies. They are rocks. Space probes that have observed comets up close, and even landed on them, have found no source of water, only barren rock and dust.

Comet 67P in January 2015 as seen by Rosetta's NAVCAM By ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM https://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/16456721122/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40847079
Comet 67P in January 2015 as seen by Rosetta's NAVCAM By ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM https://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/16456721122/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40847079

The electrical explanation for this is that the water observed in the tail of comets is synthesized through electrolysis of metal oxides and other complex chemicals.

There is also the possibility that nuclear fission plays a part. Atoms of heavy elements, ripped apart by electric stress, would produce oxygen and hydrogen.

This would make the abundance of deuterium in comets’ tails easier to understand.

Heavy elements have a larger proportion of neutrons in their nuclei than lighter elements. Ripping heavy elements into parts would therefore result in a general abundance of heavy isotopes in the elements produced.

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