Frans Faase updated us on a Pioneer Mystery we've been following for many years: something is tugging Pioneer 10 & 11. A few years ago a theory surfaced but now "A new computer model of the way heat is emitted by various parts of the Pioneer spacecraft, and reflected off others, finally solves one of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics. Previous calculations have only estimated the effect of reflections. A computer modeling technique called Phong shading was used to work out exactly how the the emitted heat is reflected (PDF) and in which direction it ends up traveling. Taking into account the reflections on the antenna seem to make the anomaly disappear."
Attend or create a Slashdot 20th anniversary party! DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test. ×