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Space Science

Antarctic Experiment Finds Puzzling Distribution of Cosmic Rays 119

Posted by timothy
from the this-way-to-the-aliens dept.
pitchpipe writes "A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica. ... It turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another." The map of this uneven distribution comes from the IceCube neutrino observatory last mentioned several days ago.
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Antarctic Experiment Finds Puzzling Distribution of Cosmic Rays

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  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by smallfries (601545) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:11PM (#33097248) Homepage

    Scientists have called this part of the sky "The Sun".

  • Huzzah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:17PM (#33097288)
    It would be great if they'd actually found the center of the universe, in contradiction to all previous theories, since that would allow a hole in relativity that you might be able to squeeze FTL through. At least as far as i understand it some methods of FTL would be non-paradoxical if there was actually a universal reference frame instead of everything being, well, relative.

    Unfortunately i'm sure there's a much more mundane explanation for the phenomenon which they will eventually discover.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)
      The center of the universe is about 3cm behind the bridge of your nose.
    • Re:Huzzah! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mangu (126918) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @05:52PM (#33097778)

      At least as far as I understand it some methods of FTL would be non-paradoxical if there was actually a universal reference frame instead of everything being, well, relative.

      This universal reference exists and is known by scientists, google for cosmic microwave dipole [google.com].

      Our galaxy is moving at 627 km/s in relation to the microwave background radiation of the universe, which is the nearest direct effect of the Big Bang that we can observe.

    • Mundane, meaning related to the Earth?

    • Unfortunately i'm sure there's a much more mundane explanation for the phenomenon which they will eventually discover.

      It'll be Antarctic pigeons [scilogs.eu] nesting in the equipment.

    • Unfortunately i'm sure there's a much more mundane explanation for the phenomenon which they will eventually discover.

      You are probably right.

      However when I read an article like this one, I do wonder what sort of interstellar drive would produce an exhaust or wake with these kinds of characteristics? It seems to me that today's astronomical discussions should include some comments on the possibility that what is being observed out there might not be a natural phenomenon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:47PM (#33097442)

    God went that-a-way

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Okay...so Armageddon is this-a-way?

  • by photogchris (1847394) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:50PM (#33097462)
    Oh, I know what is going on. With all the earthquakes, floods, oil well leaks and explosions, global warming. Those aren't any ordinary cosmic rays, they are Mongo Rays! Lord Ming has it in for us. Where is Flash and Dr. Zarkov when we need them?
    • No, its because the cosmic rays have mutated! Soon they will cause the earth's core to boil, causing earthquakes and a shifting of the earths' crust by 50 degrees!!
  • I propose (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sabz5150 (1230938) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @05:19PM (#33097600)
    We call this the "Microwave oven theory". Some areas get cooked to carbon, others are left frozen solid.
  • by tenco (773732) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @05:22PM (#33097610)
    Doesn't even contain a link to the project in question [wisc.edu].
  • The article alludes to the Earth's magnetic field but doesn't rule out its possible effects. I wonder if a comparison to a map of the Aurora Borealis might provoke further discussion.
  • That linked Slashdot article is June 24, 2010. Today is July 31. That's 37 days ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Beelzebud (1361137)
      Is that not several days?
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      that's because all the new editing standards at Slashdot designed to have less duplicate stories.

      If those new standards weren't in place, this would be the second or third posting of the article.

  • Clearly that part of the sky is where the aliens are.
    Time for the seti guys to try to break the compression algorithm - so that we can get communicating.
  • Stargate (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Its something to do with the second stargate, or the other ancient base in antarctica..

  • Maybe what they're measuring is coming from Earth's core..

    (No, I didn't RTFA)

    It's one of those 'hmm' deals..

    • ...also, it scares me when scientists get visibly excited over the possibility of a 'smoking gun'.

      Self-serving science is bad karma

      • it scares me when scientists get visibly excited over the possibility of a 'smoking gun'

        Why? Observational evidence is one of the central pillars of science, no?

        Self-serving science is bad karma

        Yes, fucking selfish bastards! Who do they think they are, sharing an intriging observation they can't explain.
      • by Legion303 (97901)

        Yeah, you probably should have read the fucking article. The detection in this case amounts to an accident.

  • I looked at the image and the cosmic rays seem to be lacking only in a small area of the whole measurement. Maybe somebody in a galaxy far far away is blocking the cosmic rays en masse with a bunch of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere [wikipedia.org] (as in colonization of one or multiple galaxies).

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Maybe somebody in a galaxy far far away is blocking the cosmic rays en masse with a bunch of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere [wikipedia.org] (as in colonization of one or multiple galaxies).

      We know about these remote stars and galaxies because we can see them, which means they're not in a Dyson sphere.

  • My man Ice Cube was into observing subatomic particles.

  • ... penguin poop on the sensor.
  • As far as I can tell from reading the article, this proves that cosmic rays distribution does not follow a truly random pattern as they hit earth. Given that these rays originate from stars/nova/events and these events are not randomly distributed in the universe, why is this a surprise? I can only guess someone has theorised that if the universe is infinitely big, then the cosmic ray distribution should tend towards perfect (infinite) randomness. Can anyone shed light on the theory that this finding is dip
  • We have seen toast, trees, bees nests, it stands to reason that this could be the Face of God, or a Dan Brown Novel promotional hoax....
  • by JustOK (667959)

    Maybe the doctor got something wrong with the Pandorica

  • It's just a spaceships' (probably a Bussard Ramjet's) exhaust.

  • It would be spooky if the region of space with fewer cosmic rays coincided with the WMAP cold spot [nrao.edu].

  • I expect they will find a Transformer there soon enough. I just hope it is an Autobot.

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