Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Voyager Clue Points To Origin of the Axis of Evil

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the seriously-who-named-this-thing dept.

Space 293

KentuckyFC writes "Cosmologists have been scratching their heads over the discovery of a pattern imprinted on the cosmic microwave background, the radiation left over from the Big Bang. This pattern, the so-called Axis of Evil, just shouldn't be there. Now an independent researcher from Canada says the pattern may be caused by the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space where there is a sharp change in pressure, temperature and density of ions in space. Known as the termination shock, astronomers had thought this boundary was spherical. But last year, data from the Voyager spacecraft which have crossed the boundary, showed it was asymmetric. The new thinking is that the termination shock acts like a giant lens, refracting light that passes through it. Any distortion of the lens ought to show up as a kind of imprinted pattern on an otherwise random image. But the real eye-opener is that as the shape of the termination shock changes (as the Solar Wind varies, for example), so too should the pattern in the microwave background. And there is tentative evidence that this is happening too (abstract)."

cancel ×

293 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why should we care? (5, Funny)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040607)

It all sounds very interesting and important and technical, but what does it all mean? Dammit! What does it all mean, man?

Re:Why should we care? (5, Funny)

DamageLabs (980310) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040695)

It means that the end of the world is imminent.

Quick, grab that towel!

Re:Why should we care? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040709)

It means that in the next two to five years we can confidently expect the development and release of FTL travel, zero-point energy, a cure for mortality, replicator technology and hot green alien nymphomaniac bikini chicks. From Mars.

Now do you care?

Re:Why should we care? (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040791)

Yes. Yes, I do ;-)

Re:Why should we care? (5, Funny)

AgentUSA (251620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041075)

Only if I hear about it in a Steve Jobs keynote.

Re:Why should we care? (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041109)

I'd prefer we aviod making Replicaters, thankyouverymuch.

Re:Why should we care? (4, Funny)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041245)

Replicators as in StarTrek, not Replicators as in StarGate. Because in America, I totally need another way to get junk food conveniently without moving from my couch.

Re:Why should we care? (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041251)

It means that in the next two to five years we can confidently expect the development and release of FTL travel, zero-point energy, a cure for mortality, replicator technology and hot green alien nymphomaniac bikini chicks. From Mars.

If I'm immortal, what need do I have for hot green alien nymphomaniac bikini chicks? I'd be popping saltpeter pills and working on time travel science (since all the other super-science would be done, and being assured that I'd see the future via immortality, only the past would be of interest).

Re:Why should we care? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041411)

and flying cars, right? There's going to be flying cars. There has to be. Cuz hot green alien nymphomaniacs dig flying cars.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041487)

No... just classic Corvettes that get driven over cliffs.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041619)

Now do you care?

No. Green doesn't turn me on.

Re:Why should we care? (3, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040871)

Depending on the size and nature of the effect, all of our earth observations could be tainted. While observing simple things like galaxies with Hubble are barely affected, it could possibly upset the belief that the universe is expanding. If photons are being slowed as they cross the terminal shock boundary, it would make it look like the universe was expanding in all directions, which is a belief we currently hold. If the effect is strong enough, it could even tell us its expanding when it is contracting. Though in theory, you'd be able to tell along the axis on contraction that things were a bit off. However if the universe is static or near static, it would not be discernible.

Re:Why should we care? (0)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040987)

For example, somewhere, recently, I read that the universe is expanding at 71km/s. This measurement could be an artifact from photons crossing the terminal shock and being slowed by 71km/s, with the speed of light being 299,792km/s, its an itty-bitty amount of slowing (0.0004%)

Re:Why should we care? (5, Informative)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041121)

Nope, doesn't affect this. The speed at which a part of the universe expands depends on the distance from us. it's about 70 (km/s) / Mpc (google Hubble's Law) Which means that distant things fly faster away from us than closer things. But the effect this article talks about, affects both photons in exactly the same way, so it would have no influence on the measurement of Hubble's constant.

Re:Why should we care? (5, Informative)

physicist_percy (1558997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040917)

Understanding the Cosmic Microwave Background is fundamental to our understanding of the Big Bang. In essence, the CMB is left over energy from the Big Bang itself. We initially thought that the CMB should appear uniform across the entire universe. Two major experiments showed that it was not, which left many scratching their heads. This most recent postulate may explain these results.

Re:Why should we care? (2, Insightful)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041059)

I would like to think there are people scratching their heads trying to figure out what was here before the big bang, and more importantly where did that come from. Hopefully these CMB discoveries will move us closer to answering these questions.

Re:Why should we care? (2, Informative)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041189)

actually, before the big bang, "here" (space) didn't exist yet. "before the big bang" (time) also didn't exist.

Re:Why should we care? (2, Insightful)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041373)

actually, before the big bang, "here" (space) didn't exist yet. "before the big bang" (time) also didn't exist.

Your evidence, Watson?

Re:Why should we care? (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041207)

The singularity, or big bang, is the lowest common denominator state of the mass/energy of the multiverse. This universe is an expression of one of many higher order patterns which the multiverse can assume. Entropy and gravity are expressions of the universes inevitable degeneration back to the singular state. "Before" the big bang, there was another universe, and "After" the big bang, there will be another universe. Although that is misleading, because time is just another spatial dimension, and all of these universes exist simultaneously, connected at the singularity. None of this is infinite, just incredibly large and complex.

Understanding the shape of the multiverse is synonymous with understanding the laws of reality. Where the multiverse came from is beyond human experience, and not really a useful question to contemplate.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041325)

Do tell us more. Also, what's a good book about the contemporary understanding of the Big Bang/origin of the universe? Or maybe I'll just Google it :-)

Re:Why should we care? (3, Informative)

physicist_percy (1558997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041667)

I good start would be "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. Very well written for the non-scientists.

Re:Why should we care? (5, Interesting)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041335)

If it is beyond our experience, and not something to contemplate, how has your answer been derived? You said it as though it is fact, but it has not been proven. I am still stuck at the "something from nothing" question.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

physicist_percy (1558997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041585)

To ask 'what before the Big Bang' is to ask what existed before time was created; it's a very difficult question.

Re:Why should we care? (2, Funny)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041197)

I think it means that we now don't have to worry about the inflationary theory, so it will be easier to solve the economic crisis with Obama bucks.

Or something like that. But I'm no rocket surgeon.

So? (3, Interesting)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040627)

Does that mean that to get a clear view we need space crafts beyond the boundry?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040759)

Nope. It means that to get a clear view we need spacecrafts beyond the boundary.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040997)

No, it means we need spacecraft beyond the boundary.

to get a good view of the cosmos (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040765)

you need to position yourself outside of the milky way galaxy, and far from the andromeda galaxy too

and even then, the light pollution from these gaudy neighborhood photon hogs spoils the good view

but take heart: nasa already has a plan to send a telescope outside the galaxy to get a good view, and it should be fully operational in 25,000 years

of course, there's the issue of the slight lag between taking a picture and the picture being transmitted back to earth, but top minds are working on that small problem, rest assured

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

JamesVI (1548945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040885)

No, it means that you need to characterise the distortion so that you can remove it from images taken inside the solar system. The same way that you characterise atmospheric effects to make corrections to images take by ground-base telescopes.

Re:So? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041503)

Does that mean that to get a clear view we need space crafts beyond the boundry?

That or to know the shape of the boundary so we can correct for it. Before we knew it was asymmetrical, we couldn't correct properly for it, thus we did need a craft outside it in order to reveal our error.

Wikipedia (4, Informative)

Lunoria (1496339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040639)

Wikipedia says the Axis of evil is "Cosmic anisotropy, an uneven temperature distribution of the cosmic microwave background radiation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisotropy#Physics [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wikipedia (1, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041431)

And here I thought the axis of evil was made up of United States, United Kingdom, and Israel...

Re:Wikipedia (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041569)

This pattern, the so-called Axis of Evil, just shouldn't be there. Now an independent researcher from Canada says the pattern may be caused by the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space[...]

Well, at least Bush now has a good excuse for thinking there were WMD in Iraq. Maybe that Onion parody of him finding an error in Fermi calculations [theonion.com] wasn't so far-fetched!

too (abstract) (2, Funny)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040643)

I tried to understand this, but it was too (abstract)

Re:too (abstract) (5, Informative)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040979)

Short version: You know how stars twinkle because of the Earth's atmosphere? Something similar happens at the boundary of the solar system. The difference there is that the boundary is due to the solar wind as opposed to an atmosphere.

The actual distortion is similar to the ripples of light you see on the bottom of a swimming pool due to ripples in the surface of the water. Because the surface is uneven, the light gets bent unevenly and bunches together in some places and spreads out in others. So, instead of even lighting across the bottom of the pool, you see a pattern of light and dark areas.

Same thing's happening to the cosmic background radiation. It should be evenly distributed, but instead it's brighter and darker in places, and they think it's due to the uneven surface of the termination shock.

Re:too (abstract) (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041395)

So I picked up that much. What I'm unclear on is shouldn't the distortions (from Earth's perspective anyway) be moving? As we observe a point outside our solar system through the year, we'd be looking through a slightly different part of the heliopause "lens". So the distortions should move as Earth does (or whatever our observation platform is).

If the "ripples" are fast (relative to a solar year) we should see them, and be able to correct them over a short period of time. If they're slow, then a longer period.

That would only mean that a simple snapshot wouldn't suffice and that we'd have to take multiple images of the CBR and correct them accordingly.

And it should be easy to test (3, Insightful)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041403)

Just like the bottom of a swimming pool, the uneven pattern should change over time as the termination shock fluctuates.

Re:too (abstract) (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041405)

*Alex Trebec Voice* I'm sorry, but your response was not in the form of a car analogy.

Seriously though, excellent explanation.

Re:too (abstract) (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041459)

Thank you for putting it into a clearer perspective.

Re:too (abstract) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041597)

If I had mod points , I'd give them to you Mr Z - that was the best explanation I have yet to hear.

I'm very dissapointed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041605)

What the hell? You weren't supposed to explain something complex in simple terms anyone can understand. This is Slashdot. You were supposed to be condescending and use lots of obscure jargon and abbreviations.

For example:
"Idiot! RTFA! If you didn't spend your life just sitting on your fat ass (I bet you are a virgin too) instead of attempting to read the article you would've CLEARLY read that the Zegot axis is the determinate for the UU' and OO' deviations. This is why light is obscured by Heymann variations in a GERT framework. There, even a moron like yourself can understand that."

Next time at least toss in a reference to a cultish Sci-Fi show that is about to be canceled or a jab at someone's choice of operating system.

Re:too (abstract) (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041493)

Short version: everything from nothing. Film at Elveon.

A week too late. (2, Insightful)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040647)

Would have been nice to find this out before ESA launched their shiny new Planck telescope to study the CMBR.

Perhaps Planck2, or whatever the next model is called, will have to travel outside the solar system to get a clear view. If so, we'll be waiting for a very long time for results from it.

Re:A week too late. (5, Insightful)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040821)

No, it just means there's an extra factor that influences the images Planck will make. We just need to find out what the influence is of this extra factor, and then delete that factor from the images Planck makes.

Planck can make the images now, and we can compensate for the Axis of Evil afterwards.

Re:A week too late. (4, Insightful)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041073)

A lot of the effects that Planck is looking for are extremely subtle, weak signals. I'm not sure how signal and noise compare in this case, but if they're comparable we will have to hope that heliopause effects are predictable enough to be cancelled out. One of the major objectives of Planck is to look for remnant signals resulting from gravity waves shortly after the inflation phase, and this could be not just weak but a localised signal, so small scale features of the heliopause may matter in this case.

Re:A week too late. (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040855)

Not really. If hubble taught us anything, its that space telescopes can compensate for weird lens effects. Of course, getting to L2 to run a service mission is out of the question, so lets hope Planck's physical lenses are up to the job!

Re:A week too late. (2, Funny)

huckamania (533052) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041081)

Gee, I can't see how being able to map out the boundary of the Solar System we live in could be beneficial to science. We should all crawl back into our caves and shine our clubs for the coming Ice Age.

Computer scientist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040677)

Say what? I know "computer science" has the word "science" in it, but I'm definitely out of my element here. ;)

Now we just need to wait... (4, Funny)

Xerolooper (1247258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040687)

until Voyager returns from the edge as Vyger and answers all our questions or are we in an alternate timeline now?

Re:Now we just need to wait... (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040737)

until Voyager returns from the edge as Vyger and terminates the carbon unit infestation that's preventing contact with the creator

Fixed that for you.

Re:Now we just need to wait... (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041107)

Come on guys, its Vger, not Vyger. Get your pointy ears on the right way around!

Re:Now we just need to wait... (2, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041655)

Funny, I had always just assumed that movie was in an alternate timeline... >_

Axis of Evil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040697)

Has anyone checked Iran, Iraq and North Korea for traces of this radiation?

Re:Axis of Evil (1)

Teese (89081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040869)

isn't there a -1 joke was way to obvious? (to be fair it was the first thing I thought of too)

Voyager (1)

YayaY (837729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040715)

It's incredible that the Voyager spacecrafts still provide useful scientific data so long after their launch. We don't build our stuff as tough as those two anymore. lol

I'm not getting it (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040719)

So does this mean torture's ok and waterboarding might prevent the heat death of the universe?

Re:I'm not getting it (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041179)

So does this mean torture's ok and waterboarding might prevent the heat death of the universe?

Get over yourself, you twat, whoever you are. That was funny.

Changing shape? (2, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040771)

So if it's changing shape, and distorts light, does that mean that it voids a majority of data we get from long range observations?

Re:Changing shape? (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040877)

Only with regards to minute errors in direction.

Re:Changing shape? (1)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040919)

Of course not.

It just means there's a small correction that has to be made if you need extremely precise measurements. For most data the difference would be orders of magnitude too small to notice.

And you don't need to redo the original measurements, just subtract the Evil of Axis once we know a bit more about how this Axis of Evil influences our data.

Re:Changing shape? (1)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040957)

And with 'Evil of Axis' i mean 'Axis of Evil' :-)

Note to scientists: (3, Insightful)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040777)

Be careful what you label your anomalous data. It may come back to be your new theory.

Try explaining to Americans why "The Axis of Evil" won out over conservative theory. Give the genius who thought that term up another grant... ;)

Fascinating stuff (5, Interesting)

Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040831)

I have been following the Voyager updates with some interest over the past couple of years. I find it astounding that we are still managing to get useful data from these vehicles which were launched back in the 70's. Certainly, they have exceeded their design mission, and only advances in large aperture radio coverage here on earth have allowed continued communication. To put this in perspective - the one way light time from earth to both vehicles is now on the order of about 30 hours! Interestingly, the vehicles are adorned with a message to prospective lifeforms who would encounter the spacecraft long in the future - a "golden record", which is technology long since obsolete here on earth during only the short 30 year span of the mission. Food for thought.

Re:Fascinating stuff (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040973)

Interestingly, the vehicles are adorned with a message to prospective lifeforms who would encounter the spacecraft long in the future - a "golden record", which is technology long since obsolete here on earth during only the short 30 year span of the mission.

Yet still probably the most appropriate technology for the mission, unless you have a fool-proof way of describing to someone who doesn't share any languages with you how to quickly build a Bluray player.

Re:Fascinating stuff (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041001)

Come on, this is NASA we're talking about. There is no way they ever would have gone with a Blu-Ray format.

They would have gone with HD-DVD.

Re:Fascinating stuff (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041443)

Come on, this is NASA we're talking about. There is no way they ever would have gone with a Blu-Ray format.

They would have gone with HD-DVD.

Whoa, whoa there buddy. That's a bit modern for NASA. They'd have opted for laserdisc or betamax.

The best technology that 1978 has to offer.

Re:Fascinating stuff (5, Interesting)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041039)

Way back in the 80's I was taking a receiver design course at George Washington University. My lab partner was involved in the continual design of more sensitive receivers to listen in on the voyager craft.
It led to interesting discussions about how the pace of receiver design (sensitivity, noise floor, selectivity). At the time we were learning the state of the art, the folks at the research labs were pushing the limits further and further. It warms my heart to realize that 25 years later they are still making significant advancements.

What it will take to monitor the weakening transmissions from the Pioneers and Voyagers five years from now doesn't exist today. Kudos to everyone involved in the process.

Re:Fascinating stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041125)

An analog golden record is probably the best medium for the job. All you need is a simple diagram showing a needle in the groove, and something to turn the disc, and anybody could hear it.

Re:Fascinating stuff (1)

danhuby (759002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041283)

There's not just audio on this thing, there's imagery too using a very basic analogue encoding.

Re:Fascinating stuff (4, Funny)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041195)

a "golden record", which is technology long since obsolete here on earth

Tell that to the audiophiles.

Re:Fascinating stuff (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041609)

Gotta use Alien Cables(TM) too

Re:Fascinating stuff (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041463)

Interestingly, the vehicles are adorned with [...] a "golden record", which is technology long since obsolete [dict.org] here on earth [...]

Oh really? [google.com]

a careless omision (1)

ringman8567 (895757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040851)

Who forgot to put the microwave detection equipment on Voyager?

Re:a careless omision (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041095)

Yeah, and it doesn't even have bluetooth!

What a stupid comment (1)

Sebastian Moran (1525959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040879)

Of course it changed shape, one of its members is gone!

Why Axis of Evil? (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040895)

Why did they call it the Axis of Evil? I mean, I get that the pattern disrupts the CMB radiation, but it seems to be kinda a strech to go to Axis of Evil. I mean, if you that into getting a dig on the former administration, why not just call it the Cheney effect or Haliburtonisis

Re:Why Axis of Evil? (2, Interesting)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041043)

Well yeah, there was the 'silly political reference' - but most importantly, the pattern implies that the universe, which should be anisotropic, has a shape. In fact, according to measurements of the Axis, the entire universe is pointing in a particular direction (the 'axis' part). And that goes against a helluva lot of cosmological theory, hence the 'evil' part.

It is left as an exercise for the user to determine why the word 'of' was included in the name.

Re:Why Axis of Evil? (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041203)

I'm sorry, but it still seems like someone was trying to make the name fit. I hate it when scientist get political. We should try and keep science out of the shitfest that is politics. I mean, now if this needs funding, and could revolutionize the way we see the universe, some republican might fight it purely cause they don't like the name. And in 60-70 years, it's going to sound as stupid as the Department of Homeland Security(ye-haw!).

Re:Why Axis of Evil? (1)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041157)

i used to work in the newspaper industry. You'd see this kind of crap all the time. i doubt its really a dig at anyone or political party. its just that people have gotten a hold of a buzz word or phrase that they know will make headlines so they run with it no matter if it makes sense or not.

Like an atmosphere ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040929)

So the transition from solar to interstellar medium distorts things like the transition from atmosphere to "space" distorts things ? Kind of like finding out stars don't really twinkle ?

Re:Like an atmosphere ? (1)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041047)

it's actually kinda the same effect. space is not empty, it's just "almost empty". The transition from atmosphere to (solar) space is a transition from "a lot of gas" to "not a lot of gas, but some atoms here and there". The transition between solar medium and interstellar is also a transition to a region with a smaller amount of atoms and molecules per volume. Same effect, but a bit smaller.

Hubble 2.0 (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040943)

That new and improved version should be positioned in the interestellar space. Will take years, but will put clear once and forever that good have crosses and evil axis.

But the big one will be Hubble 3.0, outside our galaxy, sending us the images of the Big Bang that suffered Earth a bit after it got lauched.

Observable universe wrong? (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040953)

Does this mean that the lensing effect alters what we can observe from the universe?

How about what we think of the size and distribution of this universe? Or it's "expansion speed"? Could those be somewhat distorted due to this effect and the fact that the solar system itself moves at great speed?

Re:Observable universe wrong? (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041065)

Not really, no. Such distortion effects account for the Axis, but that's about it. We're not suddenly gonna realise that the universe is actually contracting, or that the galaxy is spinning backwards, or anything like that. Its a very small thing, and a lot less upsetting for cosmologists than the Axis.

Red shift (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040991)

It would be interesting to know whether the apparent red/blue shifts from galaxy observations could be accounted, or at least affected by this this phenomenon. If the case holds true it could call for a revision of many theories regarding the topology of the Universe, and its ultimate fate. I wonder if any astrophysicists would have comments against such an assumption.

Re:Red shift (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041163)

It would be interesting to know whether the apparent red/blue shifts from galaxy observations could be accounted

Minutely.

it could call for a revision of many theories regarding the topology of the Universe, and its ultimate fate.

Possible, but at nothing like the scale which the confirmed existance of the Axis of Evil would have.

Extrasolar Hubble? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041013)

So now we have to deploy a telescope outside the termination shock to get accurate pictures of the Universe? And we just spent all that money upgrading Hubble!

Its all a lie (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041029)

Its all a lie, I tell you...

If anyone has seen the Truman show then they will know what I mean when I say we all being fooled. The boundary is simply the painted wall of our illusion chamber. There is just a lot of goo before the wall to keep our hopes up. Now I want my Nobel Prize.

Just kidding.

So You're Saying.... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041041)

...that when viewed from outside the solar system, Pluto might actually still look like a planet?

Woohoo! Score one for our favorite space rock!

Well... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041049)

Atleast the axis of evil was something real the second time around, the world heard those words..

Voronoi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28041055)

Why should it be spherical?

Should it be shaped somehow like a voronoi cell... Surely the pressure from surrounding stars must depend on the direction you look in.

Shouldn't? (1, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041061)

just shouldn't be there.

Sorry, but that's religious talk. Science revels in unexpected results.

Re:Shouldn't? (4, Interesting)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041461)

just shouldn't be there.

Sorry, but that's religious talk. Science revels in unexpected results.

Nah, that's good and scientific.

Religious: "According to my faith, that shouldn't be there. So it's not. la-La-LA, I can't HEAR YOU!"

Scientific: "According to my theory, that shouldn't be there. But it is. So what's wrong with my theory?"

There's not necessarily a conflict between "shouldn't be" and "unexpected". It's "unexpected" because it "shouldn't be".

Epoch Fail (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041067)

I hardly know where to begin, but the physics, as described in the original post, is wrong. I am going to read the article now, but just remember that Arxiv articles are not peer reviewed before they are posted.

Re:Epoch Fail (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041171)

Having read the paper, there is basically no physics in it. A lot of handwaving and references to various effects, but no physics.

Re:Epoch Fail (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041281)

While you're at it, could you come up with a car analogy for those of us who know as much about physics as a cow knows about the inside of a church?

Its full of... (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041173)

stars.

Am I the only one... (1)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041257)

that spent several seconds trying to figure out how a deep space probe could possibly have found clues to the origin of a piece of bush administration war propaganda?

A third way (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28041505)

So, what they are saying is that their choices aren't simply limited to:

Either you are with us, or you are against us.

Now the axis of evil can chose to be around us instead.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>