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Away From Home

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A problem with gravity?

A fantastic story from MSNBC:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6273955/

<blockquote>
Imagine the weight of a nagging suspicion that what held your world
together, a constant and consistent presence you had come to
understand and rely on, wasn't what it seemed. That's how scientists
feel when they ponder gravity these days.

For more than three centuries, the basics of gravity were pretty well
understood.

Newton described the force as depending on an object's mass. Though it
extends infinitely, gravity weakens with distance (specifically, by
the inverse square of the distance). Einstein built on these givens in
developing his theory of relativity.

Then more than a decade ago a researcher noticed something funny about
two Pioneer spacecraft that were streaming toward the edge of the
solar system. They weren't where they should have been.

Something was holding the probes back, according to calculations of
their paths, speed and how the gravity of all the objects in the solar
system — and even a tiny push provided by sunlight — ought to act on
them.

Now scientists have proposed a new mission to figure out what's up with gravity.
</blockquote>

Here's hoping it gets funded. It is immeasurably important that we as
a society continue to explore science and understand how the universe
works.

1 Comments:

  • I agree. Besides, isn't it in our national security's best interest to make sure the planet isn't going to collapse and/or fly apart on us, after all?

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 7/06/2005 11:41:00 AM  

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