The Universe Is Slightly Different Than Expected

i-4b51f648bf751f1307e39214635d2e80-spaceship.jpgWhen certain space ships travel by the Earth they seem to demonstrate a shift in velocity that is not predicted. Space ships traveling parallel to the Earth's Equator do not seem to show this anomaly; It appears to be most readily observed in those that travel in a path unsymmetrical with respect to the equator.

The following is from a report filed with Physics News Update in September, 1998:

ANOMALOUS ACCELERATION. Data from several spacecraft, including Pioneer 10 and 11, Galileo, and Ulysses, provide evidence for an unexplained, weak, long-range acceleration, a new report shows. Position and velocity information is derived from radio signals sent from the craft to the Deep Space Network back on Earth. Any change in velocity over time can be ascribed to a variety of known sources: the sun and planets, the solar wind, the Milky Way, the Kuiper belt, etc. But even after taking this all into account, as well as other possibilities such as the presence of dark matter in the solar system (only a millionth of a solar mass of dark matter could reside within the orbit of Uranus, it is estimated) or gas leakage from the vehicles themselves, a small acceleration in the direction of the Sun---8 x 10-8 cm/sec2 for Pioneer 10---remains unaccounted for. ... [source]

And this is from a more recent report, at the end of February, 2008 (Earth time):

A new look at the trajectories for various spacecraft as they fly past the Earth finds in each case a tiny amount of surplus velocity. For craft that pursue a path mostly symmetrical with respect to the equator, the effect is minimal. For craft that pursue a more unsymmetrical path, the effect is larger. In the case of the NEAR asteroid rendevous craft ... for instance, the velocity anomaly amounts to 13 mm/sec. Although this is only one-millionth of the total velocity, the precision of the velocity measurements, carried out by looking at the Doppler shift in radio waves bounced off the craft, is 0.1 mm/sec, and this suggests that the anomaly represents a real effect, one needing an explanation. [source]

I'm sure an Earth Car exhibits a greater anomaly, say, in the odometer reading due to wearing down of the tire. In other words, this is a very tiny amount.



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Throughout the fabric of the universe and all of the planets and everything on and in them, there are always slight inconsistencies found. These inconsistencies are due to the random placement of matter throughout evolution and they create variance in airflow, gravitational properties and energy transference. Could the anomaly merely be an effect of the inconsistent collage of the universe?

By worddemon (not verified) on 04 Mar 2008 #permalink

They must be interacting with the big dark matter key that the Sun God reaches out to turn every now and then to wind up Earth's climate engine spring.

No, wait, seriously -- is this change detected immediately, as the spacecraft passes Earth? I had the impression nothing was detected til it was far far away.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 04 Mar 2008 #permalink

This is known as the flyby anomaly.

At first I thought Greg was talking about the Pioneer anomaly. That's probably the one Hank is thinking of. It's only been detected with the Pioneers, but that's not as strange as it sounds due to an important design detail of the Pioneers: They are spin stablized. That is, until most other spacecraft, they don't use thrusters to maintain control. The issue with thrusters (in this context) is they impart a vast amount of uncertainty, making it essentially impossible to tease out any anomalous effects.

Both anomalies are quite weird.

Hmmm. The Cabal (tinc) is going to want to know about this. I told them we needed something visible the scientists could credit with the anomaly, but they were sure people wouldn't even notice.