502: Dark Flow
Title text: The Pioneer anomaly is due to the force of my love.
This comic is about astronomy and the Your Mom jokes that have become increasingly widespread in urban parlance. Beret Guy is reading a research paper presumably discussing Dark Flow, an observed anomaly in the motions of the galaxies that some theorize is caused by an unobservable sibling universe or similarly supermassive object beyond the edge of the visible universe. Cueball sees this as an opportunity to make yet another Your Mom joke, implying that Beret Guy's mother is fat.
But apparently, Beret Guy's mother is dead, or at least missing, and he takes the joke seriously. He looks toward the sky and wishes that his mom pull harder so that he could be with her. The joke has been turned onto itself.
The title text is a continuation of Beret Guy's thoughts and refers to another piece of science phenomenon that has been observed in space, the Pioneer Anomaly. The Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft had been slowed down by an (at the time) unknown force as they exited the solar system, which he says is caused by the force of his love, probably toward his mom. This force has since been explained entirely in 2012 by the probes being decelerated by thermal radiation.
In 2310: Great Attractor, the more local Great Attractor is pulling Beret Guy so hard that he can sleep on vertical surfaces when it is close to the horizon.
- [Beret Guy is sitting at a computer, and Cueball is sitting in an armchair, reading either a book or a newspaper.]
- Beret Guy: According to this A.S.T. paper, every galaxy is being pulled toward one area of the sky.
- [Only Cueball.]
- Beret Guy [off-panel]: They hypothesize that it may be due to a supermassive object beyond the edge of the visible universe.
- Cueball: Maybe it's your mom. Zing!
- [Only Beret Guy.]
- Beret Guy: Do you think?
- [Outside at night, on a rooftop. Beret Guy is looking up to the sky, next to a telescope.]
- Beret Guy: Pull harder, mom.
- Beret Guy: I Miss you.
- Beret Guy's "A.S.T. paper" might refer to the article that first mentioned the theory of dark flow, published shortly before this comic. The article appeared in the American Astronomical Society's Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL), but it is unclear what is meant by "A.S.T." in the comic.
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Awww. Alpha (talk) 23:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Me after reading first two panels: lol cheesy jokes are great. Me after all panels: *hysterical sobbing* 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
What's "A.S.T."? 18.104.22.168 20:46, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
The acronym "AST" probably stands for "Aerospace Science and Technology" 22.214.171.124 06:34, 12 January 2016 (UTC) JC
- Although the subject has more to do with astrophysics or astronomy than aerospace? Perhaps the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)? Yfmcpxpj (talk) 08:47, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
I think Cueball is reading not playing. 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The Pioneer anomaly has been solved. It is due to a miniscule thrust from the RTG. 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
What happened to Cueball's legs in panel 2? 184.108.40.206 13:52, 1 November 2016 (UTC)