Friday, August 19, 2011

Pioneer Anomaly Is Getting Smaller

In a work that is arduous and tedious, Slava Turyshev and colleagues have done an incredible job of analyzing data from Pioneer spacecrafts. They came to a conclusion that the anomaly is getting smaller, and thus pointing to a more conventional explanation for the origin of such anomaly.,

Evaluating this painstakingly compiled trove of data, the team confirms that the Pioneer anomaly is real. However, they find that the anomaly is slowly diminishing, although they cannot say whether the decrease is linear or exponential. They also find that it's impossible to say whether the deceleration points toward the Sun or toward the Earth.

A decreasing anomaly offers renewed support for the idea that the craft experience small forces because of the way their complex shapes reflect and radiate waste heat. Turyshev and his colleagues are now finishing a detailed analysis of heat emission to see whether it could have the magnitude and direction needed to explain the anomaly.

I'm sure we'll hear more about this.


1 comment:

Pi-Guy said...

The Pioneer Anomaly is getting smaller, and Leon is getting laaaarger!