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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our Solar System is Dented

Our solar system has a dent in it. Science base this conclusion on Voyager 2 reaching the termination shock a billion miles closer than Voyager 1. Apparently the dent is caused by a large magnetic field created by a super-nova 10 to 20 million years ago in the Scorpius-Centaurus Association region of the Milky Way.

The termination shock caused Voyager 2 to slow to 350,000 miles/hour and it will reach interstellar space in 7 to 10 more years. The transmitters will continue to work until 2020, thanks to its radioactive fuel.

1 comment:

Hasan said...

I read this story yesterday and have been considering it ever since. In the story, you attribute the sooner than expected slowing of the spacecraft to a magnetic shock wave. My new Dominium model could offer an alternate solution to explain the same occurance. The central hypothesis of this new model is that antimatter and matter repel. A subsequent conclusion of this model is that the driver of the solar wind is a result of positrons escaping the matter-dense proximaty of the sun. Subsequnet to that, poistrons from all Milky Way stars would flow out of our galaxy and towards the nearest antimatter galaxy. [an early conclusion follows the 30+ year-old model that the early Big Bang led to "imperfections" in the matrix that led to the galaxies, where 50% of them would be expected to be matter and 50% are antimatter.] Anyway, the poitrons from multiple stars would be expected to merge, forming rivers or streams. If the space craft happened to be on a direct course with one of those streams, it's progess would be expected to be slowed because of matter/antimatter repulsion at work.

Just a thought. If you're interested further about the full scope of this new "Dominium" model it is available at online bookstore. I'd also invite you to watch the fireworks on my Scientific American blog space, username Hasanuddin--the particle guys are hopping mad. And so far they haven't dented the model, though one guy did inadvertently supply evidence in support that I had not before considered