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ZetaTalk: Slowing Probes
Note: written during the 2001 sci.astro debates.

An unknown force seeming to pull on a pair of distant space probes has left astronomers with a weighty mystery, one that appears to defy the conventional laws of physics. The Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft, which for decades have steadily traveled in opposite directions in the solar system, have covered significantly less space then they should have.

Why do the probes slow? It is not gravity, the Sun pulling these probes back, but particle flows that mankind is currently unaware of. Why do the planets in the solar system all line up into the ecliptic plane? This phenomena occurs in the rings around Saturn also, and in the oceans of Earth which are fatter at the equator than at the poles. Visible matter, the planets and rings and oceans, that mankind can see, are slung faster from the waist of a rotating sun or planet than at the poles, a matter of momentum But it is not the sling that keeps them at the waist, as a sling alone would not keep them nicely in place, a ring around the waist. There is a return of some type, with the return coming back into the rotating sun or planet at the poles, and then flowing in the direction of the waist, to fill the gap caused by the sling. This is not caused by the flow of gravity particles, as the flow of gravity particles is even. Does an object weigh more at the poles than at the equator? Nor is this the flow of magnetic particles, as the rings around Saturn and the planets in the ecliptic assume their position regardless of magnetic properties.

The solar wind is not visible to man, yet its effect on comet tails is quite visible. Likewise, the flow of these particles, unknown to mankind, which force the planets into the ecliptic plane, can be inferred from the fact that the ecliptic exists, alone. The probes, propelled beyond the grip of the Sun’s gravitational field to where their momentum can counteract this draw, were expected to float along at a predictable rate, yet are doing so more slowly. The answer lies in the wash back of the particle flows that keep the planets bobbling in the ecliptic plane and the rings of Saturn so neatly in a thin line. Just as the fatter oceans around Earth’s equator flow toward the poles, thence wrapping around in deep ocean current back toward the equator, this particle flow is not even in the pressure it exerts. There is pressure from the side as well as back toward the rotating sun or planet that is the gravitational giant holding the bobbling matter in its grip. The closer the bobbling matter is to the equator of a rotating object, the more pressure there is from the side, pushing the matter into the ring or ecliptic plane.

The probes were in part sent out to explore the planets in the solar system, and were directed by their jets or a gravitational sling around the planets being visited during their voyage. Thus, the force of gravity from the Sun alone was not the single force influencing the probes until they floated to where they are today. They now, presumably, have only their momentum and the gravity pull from the Sun as factors in their pace. Add to this the factor of a returning particle flow, pushing outward at the ecliptic but immediately upon leaving the ecliptic plane flowing back toward the Sun. As the particle flow leaves the ecliptic, it is flowing toward the side, away from the ecliptic, but in the backward trip, it is buffeting from the other side, as the currents of this flow become circular around the ecliptic close in, as well as circular in broad circles that extent to the poles of the Sun. This buffeting from the side affects the rate of escape in the probes, as they are making side trips, this way and that, however infinitesimal, and this likewise takes time. How would it not? If a man walks in a forward motion only, he will arrive faster than another who takes the time to dance to the side, this way or that, now and then.

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