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Space Science

ESA Discovers Unexpected 'Haze' of Microwave Transmissions 69

astroengine writes "The European space observatory Planck has discovered something peculiar about our galaxy: it's humming in microwaves and, for the moment, the source of the 'hard' radiation surrounding the galaxy's core is a complete mystery. Also, the Milky Way is home to previously unknown 'islands' of cold carbon monoxide gas, helping astronomers uncover the distribution of star-forming regions."
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ESA Discovers Unexpected 'Haze' of Microwave Transmissions

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  • Wifi (Score:4, Funny)

    by Grindalf (1089511) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:11AM (#39030079) Journal
    Earthings! We all use sci fi wi fi ... You may not question this! :0)
  • It's all (Score:3, Funny)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:24AM (#39030123)

    Burnt Popcorn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MickLinux (579158)
      Oh, no! I've been waiting for the galaxy to go `ding' . Do you mean to say I should have been counting the time between stars popping?
  • Haze is not new (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:35AM (#39030159)

    Nice to see some new results from Planck, but the summary is a misleading (and the article itself too, to a lesser degree) when it comes to the haze. This haze was discovered by Planck's predecessor, the WMAP satellite - in fact, it is best known as the WMAP haze. It is true that its cause is unknown, though. People like to speculate that it might be due to annihilation of dark matter particles or other exotic physics, which would be exciting, but I'm partial to something more mundane, like more frequent supernova explosions near the center, as mentioned in the article.

  • by FauxReal (653820) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:46AM (#39030213) Homepage
    "Why are we here?" To think we finally know the answer to our origin... Our galaxy and everything in it is just some quick heat-n-eat snack for some celestial being. Now that's food for thought.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we should ask Jimmy Jendrix if the haze is purple?

  • by mwvdlee (775178)

    How does this relate to cosmic background radiation?

    • by siddesu (698447)
      If it is galactic in origin, probably it doesn't - the cosmic background has a different origin.
  • by cvtan (752695) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @07:52AM (#39031301)
    "To Serve Man" - It's a cookbook!
  • ...a leftover from a cosmic bong smoking party.

    "UV Haze in outer space /
    aliens left it in this place /
    their awful silent, we don't know why/
    meanwhile SETI search the sky"

    Apologies to Hendrix fans.
  • At the core (Score:4, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @07:54AM (#39031315) Journal

    Didn't Larry Niven explain the reason for hard radiation from the center of the galaxy in his 1966 travelogue "At the Core"?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Great.. so we have to worry about galactic global warming too?

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Actually, it's still quite cold. The 2.45 GHz wi-fi band corresponds to about 0.023665 Kelvin.

  • That is poorly formulated. "Transmissions" would make one think of the intentional dispatching of information. Which this microwave surely does not represent, I presume ? Aliens and SETI: Not yet ?
    • by Skapare (16644)

      Is it sharing of music and movies? Or just social communication of the collective?

  • Dark Energy and Matter are odd ducks.

    In both classical and quantum physics matter radiates electromagnetic energy according to its absolute temperature. To NOT be visible, i.e., NOT radiate electromagnetic energy, Dark Matter MUST be at zero degrees Kelvin, which is impossible to reach because of Second and Third Law considerations. Also, if the Universe were made up of, as some have proposed, 90% of more of Dark Matter, the mean temperature of the Universe would be colder than 2.5 Kelvin. Black bod

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You are overlooking a tiny fact:
      Dark Matter actual exists. It's been tested. Where as the either doesn't actually exist, because testing eliminated it.

      The days of Dark Matter only being just an idea are over.

    • by pantaril (1624521)

      In both classical and quantum physics matter radiates electromagnetic energy according to its absolute temperature.

      That is untrue, some kinds of elementary particles don't interact electro-magneticaly at all Neutrinos for example interact only via gravitation and weak force. Dark matter could behave similary.

      Also, if the Universe were made up of, as some have proposed, 90% of more of Dark Matter

      Acording to current mainstream astrophysical theories, our universe is made up from 73% dark energy, 23% dark matter and 4% normal visible matter. The best candidate for dark energy is energy of vacuum, dark matter is actively being searched for in some deep underground particle detectors.

      • by cmarkn (31706)

        I guess I'm not clear on the definition of dark matter. Aren't these clouds of cold CO, that have never been seen or expected before now, dark matter? There is nothing in the definition that requires that dark matter be something exotic, only that it be invisible up to now which describes these clouds.

        Notice that I'm not suggesting that this accounts for all dark matter, or even a meaningful fraction of it, only that it fits the definition of dark matter by not having been observed before.

        • by pantaril (1624521)

          I guess I'm not clear on the definition of dark matter.

          We don't know what dark matter is, so there is no definition of it. Why do we think it's some exotic unknown matter and not some cold CO2 or just simple pieces of rocks invisible to us due to low temperature and long distance?

          The answer lies in cosmic electro-magnetic background (CMB). By looking at the CMB we can tell the distribution and density of baryonic matter (matter made up from protons and neutrons) in the early universe (cca 300 thousands years after big bang). WMAP probe made detailed measurment

  • Now... with more microwave recipes for today's busy Kanamit.
  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @10:55AM (#39033355) Homepage
    I work at a telescope that does similar work. a couple weeks ago, we were doing some tests with the antenna pointed to fixed azimuth/elevation angles, which results in the telescope scanning the sky due to the Earth's rotation. We were watching the spectrum display, and saw many instances of strong (1 Kelvin or bigger) CO lines appear in thoroughly random places, perhaps 5% of the observing time. That's a lot of CO!
  • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @05:20PM (#39038389)

    It was a mistake to tell the RIAA the microwaves are carrying pirated music. Now they're suing the galaxy to make them stop.

    -- my IP address is ANDROMEDA, good luck, lawyers.

    • It wasn't a mistake, tell them they have to serve the subpoenas in person, they'll all be gone for a few million years.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard