Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mystery force pushing (or pulling) deep space probes

An unknown force is pushing (or pulling) on the Pioneer probes, enough to set one of them off track by 400,000 kilometers. (New Scientist) The force is weak (one ten-billionth the force of gravity on Earth), but it's "too fascinating to ignore."

Software errors, solar wind and fuel leaks have been ruled out. Some scientists suggest standard physics equations may be slightly off, others suggest dark matter is playing a role. Whatever the case, the resulting cause may be something as exciting as "new physics," or something as boring as "an unnoticed source of heat on board the craft."


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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.