Fun_People Archive
15 Oct
Everything You Know Is Wrong - again?

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 98 16:38:02 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Everything You Know Is Wrong - again?

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Forwarded-by: david mankins <>

Last month Vicki forwarded a reference to a _New Scientist_ article that
explained that Pioneers 10 and 11 have been slowing down faster than they
should be (at a whopping 80 billionths of a centimeter per second per
second).  The Galileo probe is showing the same thing.  Physicists were
wondering if our equations of gravity need to be rewritten.


This week, _New Scientist_ reports that another culprit has been found: the
probes have a previously unnoticed photonic propulsion system.

The probes are powered by heat generated by radioactive decay.  Excess heat
is radiated out through fins.  In order to be effective, the fins are on
the sides of the probes away from the sun.  The photons escaping these fins
are enough to account for the discrepancy.

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