Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No Exotic Explanation For Pioneer "Anomaly"

 {Don't miss our nomination period to nominate your most attractive physicists}

So much for all the exotic explanations and theories for the Pioneer anomaly. As reported earlier, there appears to be a rather conventional explanation for unusual trajectory taken by Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecrafts. This latest news is a further confirmation to that conventional explanation.

According to Turyshev, the biggest challenge in developing the simulation was the "lack of precise and complete information on the spacecraft", which was designed and built more than 40 years ago. As a result, the team interviewed engineers who had built the spacecraft and still had notes and memories on the design and materials used. Also crucial to the team's success was the use of data that were beamed back to Earth during the mission. These included the temperature at several locations on the spacecraft, which allowed the team to evaluate the accuracy of its computer model and also to infer the thermal properties of some of the materials used in the satellite.

The team also performed an independent analysis of the trajectory of Pioneer 10 from which the researchers were also able to extract the relative contributions of the RTG and instruments to the anomalous acceleration. Both the thermal simulations and the trajectory analysis gave similar results, within experimental and computational errors.
You may read the ArXiv preprint of the result here.

Now, I wonder what are the "excuses" given by all these people who had proposed all of these exotic theories for this anomaly? We tend not to hear much from them after something like this. Kinda like the superluminal neutrinos. Tons of exotic explanations are offered, but not offers any explanation or retractions when the effects either goes away, or is explained away by conventional means.



Jim Cownie said...

Surely the Pioneers are not satellites (other than of the galaxy...)

ZapperZ said...

Er..... What?