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  • Melania Zilo

In a Parallel Universe, I Am Le Chiquito Bag by Simon Porte Jacquemus

The truth behind NASA’s latest discoveries.


I saw a tweet earlier today that casually mentioned that NASA has found evidence of a parallel universe "where time flows 'backward," and I nearly spit out my evening matcha. That's what I get for getting my information from the same place as Donald Trump. After further extensive research (3 journals), here is everything I learned...

There is no parallel universe (that we know of yet, idk fingers crossed). What scientists did find was evidence of particles that defy our current perception of physics, especially about how particles interact with ice. Here is a breakdown of the events in question.

Six weeks ago, the New Scientist released an article titled We May Have Spotted a Parallel Universe Going Backward in Time (hence the tabloids flipping their shit). If you manage to read past the alarming title you will actually find that the piece was simply a recollection of studies conducted in Antarctica on cosmic rays (highly charged particles) coming from outside our planet's atmosphere. The article was also coupled with some fun "what if's" and other thought-provoking ideas related to the equivocal findings. But. No. Confirmed. Parallel. Universe.

So what actually happened in Antarctica?

The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA for short, cute right?) is an experiment in Antarctica that was designed to study ultra high energy cosmic neutrinos by detecting the radio pulses coming from their interactions with the Antarctic ice sheet. In other words, ANITA goes ding if magic particle hits atom in ice.

Earlier in 2016, ANITA detected bizarre signals of a high energy particle coming from the Earth's surface and no particular source. The angle at which the neutrinos arrived at suggested that they had traveled through most of the planet, which is totally different from how they are expected to act. Usually, the particles come from space and pass through solid objects. However, this time, the neutrinos were detected to be coming from the Earth's interior instead.

In response to these abnormal findings, The New Scientist article wrote, "Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right, and time runs "backward."

Does this mean that there is a parallel universe where I am Princess of the World and rule an army of Sour Patch Kids?

Not quite. It was explained by Alex Pizzuto of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one of the leads on the Antarctica paper, that there are multiple hypotheses behind this phenomenon. It is suggested that the findings could be a result of:

  1. An intense neutrino source

  2. Systematic errors

  3. Physics beyond our Standard Model (cue Melania's hope for eventually astro-gliding into an alternate universe where her best friend is a talking baby goat).

After further experimentation and scientific research, the paper concludes that "An astrophysical explanation of these anomalous events under standard model assumptions is severely constrained regardless of source spectrum." AKA: we don't know just yet.

Maybe it's a good thing that this has everything to do with ice and nothing to do with alternate dimensions because let's face it could the world really handle another me? Probably not.

So for now, let's just try to survive this already insane world, and let us cheers to more scientific breakthroughs and partying it up with our parallel universe BFFs in the hopefully near future (I hope she likes techno).

Love always,

Melania Zilo

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