Two Australian scientists say they've found evidence of a parallel universe within our own Solar System. When the Near-Shoemaker space probe landed on the Eros asteroid, scientists could see craters where it had been hit by "mirror matter." Mirror matter is a hypothetical "reflection" of normal matter that may be necessary to keep the Universe in balance. In our world, nature has a left-right symmetry, meaning elementary particles display a preference for left over right, and scientists think a parallel universe must exist where matter works the opposite way.
Nobody knows why the Universe is left-handed. Many physicists think that in the first instant of the Big Bang, everything was perfectly symmetrical, and the cosmos only became asymmetrical when it cooled down. Others think the Universe has a left-right balance because there "mirror matter" exists, and for every known particle there?s a mirror particle that restores cosmic balance.
Robert Foot believes mirror matter is all around us, but we can't see it. "There could be mirror matter stars, planets and galaxies out there," he says. "In fact, some think that the unseen so-called ?dark matter? of the Universe could actually be mirror matter?It's dark and can only be detected through its gravity." He thinks it?s closer than we think, and even has an effect on our space probes.
In October 2000, the Near-Shoemaker spacecraft touched down on the 8 by 8 by 20 mile Eros asteroid. This was the first time a probe had landed on an asteroid and it revealed that Eros has many strange features, such as flat-bottomed craters filled with strange bluish dust. Foot thinks small objects containing mirror matter could have struck the asteroid and left behind these odd scars.
He thinks mirror matter may explain the mysterious force that acts on both the Pioneer 10 and 11 deep space probes. Launched in 1972, the Pioneers are now leaving the Solar System in opposite directions. Both of them are experiencing a small, unexplained force that?s slowing them down, and Foot thinks mirror matter is what?s doing it. "How else can you explain that both Pioneers, on opposite ends of the Solar System, experience the same force pushing in the same direction?" he says.
Robert Foot and Saibal Mitra think mirror matter may have even struck the Earth. There are three times when this could have happened: the 1908 Tunguska impact in Siberia, and the low-altitude, low-velocity fireballs seen in Spain in 1994 and in Jordan in 2001. He says, "Mirror matter could also explain these events."
The existence of a parallel universe could explain crop circles, which may be three-dimensional reflections of hyper-dimensional objects we?re unable to see. Learn the science behind the circles from ?The Deepening Complexity of Crop Circles,? click here and send crop circle postcards for Christmas?the whole set is now specially priced for the holidays.
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