It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background that comes from every corner of the universe. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly contended over the past few decades.
It wasn’t until the flight of the DXL sounding rocket, short for Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy, that scientists had concrete answers about the X-rays’ sources. In a new study, published Sept. 23, 2016, in the Astrophysical Journal, DXL’s data confirms some of our ideas about where these X-rays come from, in turn strengthening our understanding of our solar neighborhood’s early history. But it also reveals a new mystery – an entire group of X-rays that don’t come from any known source.
The two known sources of X-ray emission are the solar wind, the sea of solar material that fills the solar system, and the Local Hot Bubble, a theorized area of hot interstellar material that surrounds our solar system.
“We show that the X-ray contribution from the solar wind charge exchange is about forty percent in the galactic plane, and even less elsewhere,” said Massimiliano Galeazzi, an astrophysicist at the University of Miami and an author on the study. “So the rest of the X-rays must come from the Local Hot Bubble, proving that it exists.”
However, DXL also measured some high-energy X-rays that couldn’t possibly come from the solar wind or the Local Hot Bubble.
“At higher energies, these sources contribute less than a quarter of the X-ray emission,” said Youaraj Uprety, lead author on the study and an astrophysicist at University of Miami at the time the research was conducted. “So there’s an unknown source of X-rays in this energy range.”
In the decades since we first discovered the X-ray emission that permeates space, three main theories have been bandied about to explain its origins. First, and quickly ruled out, was the idea that these X-rays are a kind of background noise, coming from the distant reaches of the universe. Our galaxy has lots of neutral gas that would absorb X-rays coming from distant sources – meaning that these X-rays must originate somewhere near our solar system.
Our galaxy has lots of neutral gas that would absorb X-rays coming from distant sources – meaning that these X-rays must originate somewhere near our solar system.
The reason for this is totally unclear. One may speculate that an unknown gravitational field within the Solar system slightly redirects the incoming cosmic microwave radiation (in the similar way as a motion with a certain velocity with respect to the rest frame of the cosmological background redirects the cosmic background radiation and leads to modifications of the dipole and quadrupole parts). Such a redirection should be more pronounced for low–l components of the radiation. It should be possible to calculate the gravitational field needed for such a redirection and then to compare that with the observational data of the Solar system and the other observed anomalies.
8.2 Other anomalies?
There is one further observation which status is rather unclear bit which perhaps may fit into the other observations. This is the observation of the return time of comets: Comets usually come back a few days before they are expected when applying ordinary equations of motion. The delay usually is assigned to the outgassing of these objects. In fact, the delay is used for an estimate of the strength of this outgassing. On the other hand, it has been calculated in (44) that the assumption that starting with 20 AU there is an additional acceleration of the order of the Pioneer anomaly also leads to the effect that comets come back a few days earlier. It is not clear whether this is a serious indications but a further study of the trajectories of comets certainly is worthwhile.
The fact that these high energy x-rays reach well within the solar system tells me the source is inside the solar system.
DXL’s data revealed that about forty percent of most observed X-rays come from the solar wind. But in higher energy ranges, some X-rays are still unexplained. DXL’s observations show that less than a quarter of the X-ray emission at higher energy levels comes from the solar wind, and the Local Hot Bubble isn’t a good explanation either.