Saturday, January 10, 2009

This is the Kind of Thing You've Just Got to Love About Science

The new finding of really loud radio signals is an exciting discovery for NASA. No one knows yet what is causing the radio signals, what they mean or where they come from. But there they are, waiting to be understood, once we've investigated further.

The signals weren't something we were looking for — we didn't even know to look for them, in fact. What the whole experiment was about, the one that eventually discovered these radio signals, was actually measuring radio waves from really old stars. And how convenient... we found something instead that might lead us to some really interesting knowledge about the universe out there. (Of course, it is also somewhat inconvenient, in that we won't get what we were after in the first place, will we?)

This is what is so fun about science — when you approach your task doing the best you know how, you might stumble upon something unexpected, showing you that all your know-how doesn't really amount to much after all. And that is just so cool.

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