A rogue planet is discovered on a collision course for Earth, and mass hysteria of biblical proportions will break out in the streets once knowledge of the secret and impending doom is leaked to the public. But an astronomer discovers a second planet (Alpha) accompanying the first: Bronson Beta, named after its South African discoverer, Sven Bronson. Instruments find that Alpha is capable of sustaining life. Soliciting huge sums of money, billions of dollars from Philanthropist, Millionaires, Billionaires, the wealth of private capital, he and other scientist are scoffed at as they embark on a daring, near-impossible plan to build rocket ships (as many as can be constructed in the short time left) to transport a small group of people to the planet Alpha in order to populate it and ensure survival of the human race and its flora and animal species. With society disintegrating into chaos and madness, they continue their efforts and struggles to save what little of humanity they can and their lives!
- Book Synopsis:
Sven Bronson, a South African astronomer, discovers that a pair of runaway planets, Bronson Alpha and Bronson Beta, will soon enter the solar system. The larger one, Alpha, will pass close enough to cause catastrophic damage. Eight months later, after swinging around the Sun, Alpha will return to pulverize the Earth and leave. It is believed that Bronson Beta will remain and assume a stable orbit.
Scientists led by Cole Hendron work desperately to build ships to transport enough people, animals and equipment to Bronson Beta in an attempt to save the human race. Governments are skeptical, but the scientists persist and develop the technology necessary for the spacecraft, which are built in various countries. Nations like the United States evacuate their coastal regions in preparation for the Bronson bodies' first pass. Tides of hundreds of feet, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes take their deadly toll, and the weather runs wild for more than two days.
The isolated Hendron camp manages to build two ships which take off together with all of the survivors of the camp (after beating off an attack from refugees desperate to escape). One ship makes a successful landing, but without radio contact with any other ships, the crew members assume that only they made it across. They find that Beta is habitable and that there are traces of a native civilization wiped out when, millions of years before, the planet was torn away from its sun.