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(ieee spectrum)   Pioneer 10 and 11's unexplained minute deceleration now solved, thanks to 40 years of really, REALLY good science, and old data stored in cardboard boxes under JPL stairs   ( spectrum.ieee.org) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, data store, deceleration, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, Ames Research Center, radio signals, Doppler Effect, asteroid belt  
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2012-12-07 12:42:50 PM  
I thought there was some sort of gorilla monster stored in that box
2012-12-07 12:45:47 PM  
The magnitude of this deceleration was minuscule, just one ten-billionth of the gravitational acceleration that we experience on Earth's surface. Such a small effect didn't seem out of place at first. It would have shown up as a simple correction, the sort that spacecraft navigators routinely apply to accommodate fuel leaks and other small, transient deviations in spacecraft behavior. No one would have blinked an eye.

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"The scientists wouldn't have noticed, I guess is the main bullet point of this paragraph."
2012-12-07 12:47:48 PM  
That article needed an abstract.
Still, it's cool that they explained it, and also cool that the data collected were good enough to be able to calculate it.
2012-12-07 12:52:06 PM  
There's no excuse for not archiving everything. Goodness knows we have the storage space.
2012-12-07 12:59:34 PM  
What's appropriate? Ah yes.

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2012-12-07 01:04:45 PM  

Fano: I thought there was some sort of gorilla monster stored in that box

Oh, Fano, you are such a little kid! I swear to God you are! I mean where would you be without me to take care of you?
2012-12-07 01:05:49 PM  

theurge14: There's no excuse for not archiving everything. Goodness knows we have the storage space.

Yes, I thought that too, but FTFA: Nowadays data storage may be cheap, but we're still in danger of suffering from shortsightedness when it comes to data custodianship. Every experiment needs a clear plan in place to ensure that a record of the original observations is still available and readable, even decades into the future. It may very well be the only way we'll resolve the next confounding mystery.

It seemed that the original scientists also thought the actual medium was more valuable than the data - once the obvious "useful data" had been extracted. Good read, thanks subby.
2012-12-07 01:18:29 PM  
So I read all that to find out the butler actually did do it.... got it.
2012-12-07 01:20:35 PM  
Im sure this is overly simplistic and optimistic but why didn't they look at the voyager probes to see if they had a similar anomaly. If they didn't then the it would be natural to start looking at the pioneer probes themselves.
2012-12-07 01:22:30 PM  
Good farking lord, stop rambling and get to the point.
2012-12-07 01:27:29 PM  
Be careful going after old boxes under the stairs:

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2012-12-07 01:28:12 PM  
Long article is long but informative.
2012-12-07 01:30:57 PM  
This result is 5 months old and was covered by Fark at that time.

Study finds heat, not V'ger, is actual source of 'Pioneer anomaly' posted to Geek » on 18 Jul 2012
2012-12-07 01:34:31 PM  
Glad that's been cleared up. Good find, subby.
2012-12-07 01:43:23 PM  
Wow that was a whole lotta words to say "I am not going to say it was heat, but it was heat".
2012-12-07 01:47:44 PM  
Since the universe is contained entirely within the concave Earth, Pioneer 10 and 11 can only be at most a few thousand miles away. We should just go out beyond the glass shield 100 km up and retrieve them for further study.

/Read about cellular cosmogony earlier. Someone had a YouTube video about it but after about 2 minutes of watching it my brain matter oozed out my ears.
2012-12-07 01:51:28 PM  
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2012-12-07 02:03:04 PM  
The expansion-of-the-universe hypothesis is sexier, so that's the one I'm going to accept.

Awesome! We've been hearing for years that the universe is continually expanding, and now the Pioneer spacecraft have provided us with concrete evidence!
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