The uncertainty of science: Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have found that the Milky Way is surrounded by a halo of hot gas.
This is the key quote:
The estimated mass of the halo is comparable to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy. If the size and mass of this gas halo is confirmed, it also could be an explanation for what is known as the “missing baryon” problem for the galaxy.
“Missing baryon” is another way to say “dark matter.” In other words, this discovery might prove that it isn’t necessary to invent exotic unknown particles of physics, such as the Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) to explain the missing matter. The missing matter might simply be this hot gas, previously undetected.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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