Did NASA Just Find A Parallel Universe Where Time Runs Backward?
For the past few days, the internet has been raving with reports and counter-reports of the existence of a new planet where time runs backward. Several websites had reported the discovery of a universe parallel to the earth, as discovered by NASA. The explanation for this phenomenon hinged on the Big Bang that some occurred 13.8 billion years ago. They postulated that at the moment when the Big Bang occurred, two universes were formed — one running in reverse and another from our perspective.
The research was carried out with NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA). Experts employed the use of a giant balloon to lift ANITA above Antarctica, where the frigid, dry air eliminates the possibility of radio noise to distort it’s finding, providing the perfect environment for the research. 
What is ANITA?
ANITA is a stratospheric balloon-based experiment co-funded by NASA. It has an array of radio antennas pointed back at Earth to detect radio waves emitted by neutrinos on the rare chance that they strike an atom in the ice. The radio antennas are attached to a balloon that soars above 37,000 feet, enabling it to detect high-energy neutrinos. 
Neutrinos flow through everything and barely distort normal matter. They are almost ghostly and as such, are very difficult to detect. Research suggests that about 100 trillion neutrinos pass through our bodies every second, never interacting with any biochemical or physical processes. However, when produced by powerfully explosive objects, low-energy subatomic neutrinos gain extraordinary high-energies and are more likely to become detectable, allowing us to probe their origin.
Over the course of the years, ANITA has detected high-level particles streaming in from space. The uniqueness of this discovery, however, is that unlike previous findings, these high-energy neutrinos picked up from space came from a strange angle. Rather than the cosmos where previously detected neutrinos came from, the discovered neutrinos came through the earth’s interior but with no source, defying all current understanding.
To determine the actual point source, the researchers decided to use another telescope – the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. They took eight years of IceCube data and searched for correlations between the locations of the IceCube events and that of the ANITA events. Additionally, they used three distinct complementary approaches fitted to discover coincidences across diverse timescales. In all searches, the IceCube could not detect any neutrino source in the direction of the ANITA events.
“Our analysis ruled out the only remaining Standard Model astrophysical explanation of the anomalous ANITA events. So now, if these events are real and not just due to oddities in the detector, then they could be pointing to physics beyond the Standard Model,” says Alex Pizzuto of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one of the leads authors on the research paper about the experiment. 
‘…alternative ideas are still on the table’
The uniqueness of this particular discovery has prompted researchers to figure out if it is an anomaly spurred by incorrect data, the experimental set-up or if we are truly on the cusp of discovering an entirely different universe. According to Gorham, the principal investigator of ANITA: 
“…we have encountered a small number of anomalies in our data, and once we have exhausted all of the possible explanations within the Standard Model of physics, only then is it time to consider other ideas that push those boundaries – we are really not there yet, certainly not at the point where parallel universes are necessary!”
While there might be a real possibility of a parallel universe, Pat Scott, from the University of Queensland, posits that it is still a far stretch to categorically conclude this hypothesis. He adds that there can be several explanations for this phenomenon and so far, nothing necessarily makes its detection of a parallel universe. His opinion is supported by Geraint Lewis, an astrophysicist at the University of Sydney who also posits that it is too soon to say that ANITA has received a signal from the anti-universe.
According to him: “Whilst parallel universes sound exciting and sexy when discussing the ANITA signal, alternative ideas are still on the table,” he says. 
Additionally, another researcher on this project, Ibrahim Safa has tweeted that while ANITA’s events are most definitely interesting, “We’re a long ways away from even claiming there’s any new physics, let alone an entire universe.” 
- “Has NASA Found A Parallel Universe ‘Where Time Flows Backwards?’ The Truth Behind The Headlines. Forbes. Jamie Carter. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- “Here’s The Real Truth Behind That Viral ‘NASA Finds Parallel Universe’ Story.” Science Alert. Signe Dean. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- “IceCube rules out last Standard Model explanation of ANITA’s anomalous neutrino events. IceCube. Marie O’Keefe. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- “No, NASA didn’t find a parallel universe where time runs backwards.” Cnet. Jackson Ryan. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- “NASA scientists detect parallel universe ‘next to ours’ where time runs backwards.” Daily Star. Micheal Moran. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- “NASA has discovered that y’all should not be getting your news from the new york post.” Twitter. Ibrahim Safa. Retrieved June 7, 2020.