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Space Science

Pioneer Anomaly Solved 147

First time accepted submitter gstrickler writes "After years of work recovering and analyzing old mission data and vehicle schematics, a just published analysis(Pdf) provides strong evidence for anisotropic thermal radiation being the source of the slowing of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. The theory isn't new, but the recovered data and new analysis provide solid evidence that at least 80% of the deceleration is accounted for by anisotropic thermal radiation. Members of The Planetary Society were instrumental in recovering the data and helping fund the analysis. The lesson is, in space, it matters what direction your heat radiating surfaces point."
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Pioneer Anomaly Solved

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  • by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @06:48PM (#39740143)
    Heat makes things go fast!
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @07:17PM (#39740423)

    The lesson is, in space, it matters what direction your heat radiating surfaces point.

    It matters in bed too.

  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @07:34PM (#39740591)

    Will this effect be powerful enough to ever cause it to stop, turn around and come home? And when it does so, how much strife will it cause to Spock and Kirk?

  • by FrootLoops ( 1817694 ) on Friday April 20, 2012 @12:52AM (#39742587)

    Your post and its high moderation made me feel overeducated, so I wrote a poem in archaic style to reinforce the feeling.

          Today I chanced to Look Down from my Ivory Tower;
                the Vision horrified me.
          I saw the Peasants Clamoring blindly
                for the Simplest Certain Knowledge
                of the Calculus and of Physicks.
          I saw the Depth of Divide betwixt us thus:
                One Man's Hidden Knowledge is Offal to th' Other.

    P.S. To be fair, the stuff you mentioned is somewhere around the programming equivalent level of "objects can have properties".
    P.P.S. Also, note the pun on "offal"/"awful" in the last line. It's the only good line of the poem. It's true in at least 4 ways.
    P.P.P.S. Sorry for such a weird post. Maybe it'll amuse someone.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall