A couple of years ago I was at Planetary Society blog which had a post up on the Pioneer anomaly which basically was pointing out that the Pioneer spacecraft were about 240,000 kilometers closer to Earth than they they should be according to math. This, to me, is cool stuff. So far 30% of the deceleration has been explained here and at the original link, attributing it to more heat radiating out the front than the back of the spacecraft. It still leaves 70% unaccounted for, so you guys can support this blog and that project by sending the research team some money through the Planetary Society I suppose.
What I like about this is the fundamental challenge it presents to modern physics, which I am confident that they will eventually solve. Like Jean Luc said, human beings cannot ignore a mystery.
But it is also a fundamental challenge to certainty, that human condition which makes us all gods and all idiots, sometimes at the same time. (see Politics US, Economics, US)
I know I could, so someone will, find great religious proofs in all of that by stretching the point halfway out to the current positions of the Pioneers, so apologies beforehand to angry atheists, and physicists angry or not, for even mentioning that aspect of the problem, all I can do is suggest you read a history book and get used to/over it. Peeps are peeps.
What I like to muse on is how this would impact our understanding of the big bang, and consequently everything else in the universe. How would it impact what we know of time before the big bang, the age of the universe, etc. As per my previous post on the super nova. If space is measured in time, then how can the universe be twice as big as it is old in space time? Phil approaches it in his post on Boston’s baked beans, but there is a lot of animosity out there towards anyone religious, which is as old as philosophy and predates science and scientists by a thousand years or so.
And you thought I was going to write about the flyby anomaly didn’t you?
UD: I removed the non germane paragraph because they seem to generate the most heat, which unlike the Pioneer, appears to be vented at a greater rate out of peoples asses than anticipated..