Categorized | Space

Did The New Horizons Probe Discover A Cosmic Wormhole?

new worm whole November 16, 2015

Pasadena, California – An unusual object imaged by NASA’s New Horizons probe shortly after passing the Pluto-Charon system this summer may be a hole in the fabric of space and time, according to a team of astrophysicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

After carefully analyzing data and imagery gathered by the probe during its July flyby of the dwarf planet and its moons, the Caltech team concluded that the most likely explanation for the anomalous object was that it was a so-called wormhole in space-time. A wormhole, according to theoretical physics, is a multi-dimensional tunnel connecting two distant points in space and time.

The findings of the study, which was recently posted to the pre-press web site arxiv.org, have come as a shock to the worldwide astrophysics community. “It certainly was an unexpected result,” said Dr. Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech and lead author of the study. “Wormholes may be a common device in science fiction, but we never expected to actually find one in our universe – let alone orbiting Pluto.”

The concept of a wormhole in space-time, predicted under the field equations of Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, has been around since the term was coined by American theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler in 1957. Physicists have long speculated that a space-time wormhole could enable travel to distant stars faster than the speed of light. Earlier research by Dr. Thorne (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1988PhRvL..61.1446M) has even proposed the idea that wormholes would allow travel in time.

Others in the astrophysics community warn that it’s far too soon to guess what — and when — is at the other end of the so-called Pluto wormhole.

“Until now the notion of a wormhole has been pure speculation,” said Columbia University physics professor Dr. Brian Greene. “Finding such an object in our own solar system would overturn our understanding of the universe as we know it, so we’ll want to absolutely confirm these results.”

If confirmed, the results of this study would begin to solve the mystery encountered by the New Horizons probe soon after passing by the Pluto-Charon system on July 14. At the time, mission managers were baffled by the unusual patterns of light distortion in the imagery being sent back to Earth from New Horizons shortly before losing all contact with the probe.



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