As if 2020 hadn’t been bizarre enough, A NASA research project in Antarctica has received data suggesting an alternate universe, where time goes backward. Scientists provided this explanation after they observed heavy particles moving away from Earth, in the opposite direction they should have. However, not everyone is on board with this far-out theory.
ANITA Research Project
The group of experts came to this conclusion while working on the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA). The device uses a giant balloon to measure the air high above Antartica, and where the cold, dry air is perfect for observing particles, light, and radiation.
The antenna detects mysterious particles called neutrinos. Neutrinos are smaller than atoms and packed full of energy. The scientific community loves to study neutrinos. After all, these tiny, high-energy particles are a million times more powerful than anything scientists can make on Earth.
Scientists know relatively little about neutrinos, and the purpose of the research project was to gain more information about them by observing them in ideal conditions. This project, however, left a lot more questions than answers.
Neutrinos Behaving Badly
— New York Post (@nypost) May 20, 2020
Some neutrinos can easily pass right through Earth, so you may see them coming “up” from the planet as they pass from the other side. However, there are other higher energy ones, which can’t pass through solid stuff and get stuck on the planet’s surface.
You’re not supposed to see high energy neutrinos coming from the Earth’s surface, yet this is exactly what the NASA experiment did see. Much to the amazement of the NASA research team, the heavy neutrinos “floated” up from Earth, rather than coming down.
After much analysis, the team has concluded that they observed particles from a parallel universe where time travels backward.
Conventional Explanations Aren’t Cutting It
NASA doesn’t generally venture into the murky realm of alternate universes to explain the phenomena that they observe. This unprecedented move is the result of eliminating a long list of possible explanations. If the ANITA truly saw these neutrinos coming up from Earth, then there’s no conventional explanation as to why.
“Not everyone was comfortable with the hypothesis,” said Peter Gorham, the leader of the ANITA project. His team worked through an exhaustive list of possible explanations before putting forward the alternate universe theory, discarding them all one by one.
For example, his team tried to figure out if the neutrinos has collected some energy after passing through earth. However, due to the frequency with which neutrinos change, there is a billion-to-one chance that this would happen once in the time it takes to reach the antennae after passing through Earth. The number of neutrinos the scientists observed makes this explanation virtually impossible.
There is still another explanation, one far more boring than the parallel universe theory. The ANITA antennae may have simply made a mistake. It is possible that ANITA mistakenly identified these neutrinos. Though the scientists who worked on this project say that’s also highly unlikely, its one of the only remaining explanations for the baffling find.
As fellow team member Ibrahim Safa put it, “We’re left with the most exciting or most boring possibilities.”
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