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ESA Discovers Unexpected 'Haze' of Microwave Transmissions

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the god-chain-smokes dept.

Space 69

astroengine writes "The European space observatory Planck has discovered something peculiar about our galaxy: it's humming in microwaves and, for the moment, the source of the 'hard' radiation surrounding the galaxy's core is a complete mystery. Also, the Milky Way is home to previously unknown 'islands' of cold carbon monoxide gas, helping astronomers uncover the distribution of star-forming regions."

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69 comments

Wifi (5, Funny)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39030079)

Earthings! We all use sci fi wi fi ... You may not question this! :0)

If I am not mistaken ... (2, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39030295)

... the answer is "42"

Re:If I am not mistaken ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031097)

Only in base 13, and it's not funny.

Re:If I am not mistaken ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39032171)

So the answer is 54??

Re:If I am not mistaken ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036903)

Sorry...base 16.75.

Re:Wifi (3, Funny)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031167)

(In the cloud)

- Hi there, can I take your order please?
- I'd like a few billion humans. I'll take them medium-rare.
- Thank you sir. Your order will be ready in a few millenia, the time for the interstellar microwave to cook'em.
- Thanks! I'll be waiting outside.

(We're warming up !)

Re:Wifi (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032229)

Don't worry they're not screaming, that's just the air escaping as their atmosphere is boiled away.

Re:Wifi (2)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036233)

Don't worry they're not screaming, that's just the air escaping as their atmosphere is boiled away.

"But though you may find this slightly macabre...
We prefer your extinction
to the loss of our job"

Re:Wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031265)

I guess the hard radiation is all the pr0n.

Re:Wifi (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032101)

Yes, but what's the password to get access.... Nevermind, I just found it: "12345"

Re:Wifi (0)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032837)

That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!

Re:Wifi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39033457)

12345? that's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030129)

The Grox did it. And the carbon monoxide gas must be some byproduct when they produce spice.

strange emission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030147)

Probably Collectors' galactic core base activating its latest human-genetic powered Reaper.

Haze is not new (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030159)

Nice to see some new results from Planck, but the summary is a misleading (and the article itself too, to a lesser degree) when it comes to the haze. This haze was discovered by Planck's predecessor, the WMAP satellite - in fact, it is best known as the WMAP haze. It is true that its cause is unknown, though. People like to speculate that it might be due to annihilation of dark matter particles or other exotic physics, which would be exciting, but I'm partial to something more mundane, like more frequent supernova explosions near the center, as mentioned in the article.

Re:Haze is not new (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030467)

Thats the first time I've seen supernova described as "mundane"!

Re:Haze is not new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036835)

it's all mundane to the Q continuum.

Re:Haze is not new (5, Insightful)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39030839)

Well, its a carbon "cloud" right?
Like the ones old cars make?
Maybe it's just exhaust of an intergalactic chevy camaro?

Re:Haze is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39037125)

Chevy Nova, lighting up the night sky.

Might be communications between intelligences... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035599)

Maybe the microwaves are like a sort of pollution from local communications?

"The Question" Answered. (4, Funny)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39030213)

"Why are we here?" To think we finally know the answer to our origin... Our galaxy and everything in it is just some quick heat-n-eat snack for some celestial being. Now that's food for thought.

Re:"The Question" Answered. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031617)

Just an ant farm analog for some pan galactic being manifest to us as some kid's pet mouse.

Linux Trojan: Linux/Bckdr-RKC 02-2012 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030231)

http://pastebin.com/DwtX9dMd [pastebin.com]

The link above contains a detailed look at this mysterious new trojan targeting Linux.

- http://www.sophos.com/en-us/threat-center/threat-analyses/viruses-and-spyware/Linux~Bckdr-RKC.aspx [sophos.com]
- http://tinyurl.com/Linux-Bckdr-RKC [tinyurl.com]

Category: Viruses and Spyware
Protection available since: 22 Dec 2011 08:23:46 (GMT)
Type: Trojan
Affected Operating Systems: Linux
© 1997 - 2012 Sophos Ltd.

Hendrix (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39030261)

Maybe we should ask Jimmy Jendrix if the haze is purple?

Re:Hendrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031379)

That's a good idea. If it starts to condense and precipitate, we'd end up with Purple Rain.

26000 year mirror reflection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031047)

Boom back in your fucking faces

Cue the Electric Universe wackos (0)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031299)

in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Cue the Electric Universe wackos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031435)

yeah the mention of Synchrotron is a bit of a trigger alright. Plus magnetic fields which the crazies maintain are created by electric currents Madness I tells ya.

The haze is just... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031303)

...a leftover from a cosmic bong smoking party.

"UV Haze in outer space /
aliens left it in this place /
their awful silent, we don't know why/
meanwhile SETI search the sky"

Apologies to Hendrix fans.

At the core (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39031315)

Didn't Larry Niven explain the reason for hard radiation from the center of the galaxy in his 1966 travelogue "At the Core"?

Something more to worry about (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39031887)

Great.. so we have to worry about galactic global warming too?

Re:Something more to worry about (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39033265)

Actually, it's still quite cold. The 2.45 GHz wi-fi band corresponds to about 0.023665 Kelvin.

Re:Something more to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036669)

Ah, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know of the old Klingon proverb that science is a dish best served cold? It is very cold in space.

-- Dr. Khaaaaaaaaaan!

Ovens? (1)

Pnarp (892014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032317)

A few years ago my town started making people dispose of their old microwave ovens at a special "transfer" location at the town dump, rather than just letting us bury them in our backyard like they used to. I've always wondered what they did with all those microwave ovens. Now I know.

"Transmissions" ? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032609)

That is poorly formulated. "Transmissions" would make one think of the intentional dispatching of information. Which this microwave surely does not represent, I presume ? Aliens and SETI: Not yet ?

Re:"Transmissions" ? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032971)

Is it sharing of music and movies? Or just social communication of the collective?

Re:"Transmissions" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034145)

Transmissions? Well, how about some poor aliens invented radio and tv, and have been broadcasting their crap into the universe for some time, but due to how the signals had to cross some astronomical event or other, they got all distorted and turned into microwaves?

Uhh..

Dark Matter is an odd duck. (0)

Jerry (6400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39032791)

Dark Energy and Matter are odd ducks.

In both classical and quantum physics matter radiates electromagnetic energy according to its absolute temperature. To NOT be visible, i.e., NOT radiate electromagnetic energy, Dark Matter MUST be at zero degrees Kelvin, which is impossible to reach because of Second and Third Law considerations. Also, if the Universe were made up of, as some have proposed, 90% of more of Dark Matter, the mean temperature of the Universe would be colder than 2.5 Kelvin. Black bodies are the best known emitters and absorbers of EMR. How could Dark Matter absorb EMR for BILLIONS of years and yet remain invisible? Why has no one posted a picture showing a galaxy partly obscured by a blob of DM if it is so pervasive?

DM reminds me of the 19th century's conumdrum, the "Ether". It's properties were also outsides the boundries of known physics, and proved impossible. So thin as to be invisible, yet so ridged as to allow light to travel at extremely high velocity. Despite that regidity, even Newton established that the Ether could not support planetary vorticies nor imped the motion of comets.

Re:Dark Matter is an odd duck. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39033277)

You are overlooking a tiny fact:
Dark Matter actual exists. It's been tested. Where as the either doesn't actually exist, because testing eliminated it.

The days of Dark Matter only being just an idea are over.

Re:Dark Matter is an odd duck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035439)

No, dark matter by definition interacts very weakly with electromagnetic fields. So it does not need to be at zero Kelvin to not be seen. Similarly, it has NOT been absorbing EMR for billions of years - dark matter is almost totally decoupled from the rest of the Universe, except for gravitational interactions. That's what makes it "dark matter".

There are perfectly valid criticisms to be made about the theory of dark matter, but yours is simply a fundamental misunderstanding of the very definition of the term.

Re:Dark Matter is an odd duck. (1)

pantaril (1624521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036755)

In both classical and quantum physics matter radiates electromagnetic energy according to its absolute temperature.

That is untrue, some kinds of elementary particles don't interact electro-magneticaly at all Neutrinos for example interact only via gravitation and weak force. Dark matter could behave similary.

Also, if the Universe were made up of, as some have proposed, 90% of more of Dark Matter

Acording to current mainstream astrophysical theories, our universe is made up from 73% dark energy, 23% dark matter and 4% normal visible matter. The best candidate for dark energy is energy of vacuum, dark matter is actively being searched for in some deep underground particle detectors.

Re:Dark Matter is an odd duck. (1)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054613)

I guess I'm not clear on the definition of dark matter. Aren't these clouds of cold CO, that have never been seen or expected before now, dark matter? There is nothing in the definition that requires that dark matter be something exotic, only that it be invisible up to now which describes these clouds.

Notice that I'm not suggesting that this accounts for all dark matter, or even a meaningful fraction of it, only that it fits the definition of dark matter by not having been observed before.

Re:Dark Matter is an odd duck. (1)

pantaril (1624521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39057229)

I guess I'm not clear on the definition of dark matter.

We don't know what dark matter is, so there is no definition of it. Why do we think it's some exotic unknown matter and not some cold CO2 or just simple pieces of rocks invisible to us due to low temperature and long distance?

The answer lies in cosmic electro-magnetic background (CMB). By looking at the CMB we can tell the distribution and density of baryonic matter (matter made up from protons and neutrons) in the early universe (cca 300 thousands years after big bang). WMAP probe made detailed measurment of CMB and concluded that there is not enough baryonic matter to account for all the gravitational forces we can see.
See http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_matter.html [nasa.gov] for more details.

CO is all over the place in space (3, Interesting)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39033355)

I work at a telescope that does similar work. a couple weeks ago, we were doing some tests with the antenna pointed to fixed azimuth/elevation angles, which results in the telescope scanning the sky due to the Earth's rotation. We were watching the spectrum display, and saw many instances of strong (1 Kelvin or bigger) CO lines appear in thoroughly random places, perhaps 5% of the observing time. That's a lot of CO!

Re:CO is all over the place in space (3, Funny)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39033867)

As if space wasn't inhospitable enough, now we find out you'll get CO poisoning if you breathe out there.

Re:CO is all over the place in space (1)

cmarkn (31706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39054639)

How dense does a galactic-size cloud have to be to contain a meaningful mass? These things fill kajillions of cubic parsecs, right?

Galactic torrents (2)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038389)

It was a mistake to tell the RIAA the microwaves are carrying pirated music. Now they're suing the galaxy to make them stop.

-- my IP address is ANDROMEDA, good luck, lawyers.

Re:Galactic torrents (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39046953)

It wasn't a mistake, tell them they have to serve the subpoenas in person, they'll all be gone for a few million years.
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