Level 1 hints – some subtle help
Level 2 hints – a bit more help
Level 3 hints – spoilers
Experiment A – Direct observation
Make sure to look at everything inside the bag holding the object.
Notice the sand. What is sand made of?
Search for “sand” in the Astrosearch.
Sand is made of silicon (specifically it is silica, SiO2). It appears that the sample has produced sand.
Experiment B – Alternative light analysis
What colour is the fluorescence on the sample?
The sample has some pink (red-ish) fluorescence. Do you know of anything that fluoresces red?
Using the Astrosearch, you should be able to figure out more about pink/red fluorescence.
Pink has a wavelength of about 700 nm. Chlorophyll fluoresces at a wavelength of 700 nm.
Experiment C – Microscopy series
Since we are looking for something that changes over time, it might be easier to compare the earliest and latest picture.
Look very carefully at quadrant A3. Is there anything meaningful that happens to the sample over lunch?
Carefully compare quadrant A3 between the first and last images.
When given water and UV light during the lunchtime experiment, we witness what appears to be reproduction of a lifeform. The scale provided tells us that we are looking at something that is roughly the size of a bacteria.
Experiment D – Asteroid trajectory
Look at what happens at 09:05:50:438
Asteroids do not naturally stop moving on their own.
To better understand why an asteroid should not simply stop, do a search for “Slingshot”.
The asteroid likely has some sort of propulsion system enabling it to float above the Earth.
Experiment E – Metabolism analysis
It appears that ATP is still being produced in experiment 4 despite no carbon source being present. Could there be another source of food available? Perhaps something other than carbon?
Look back at Experiment A. What is the “Small Guy” sample made of?
For something to be food, it needs to contain specific building blocks. Life on Earth uses carbon as a building block. What do you learn if you search for “Building blocks”?
The sample is composed in large part of silicon. Silicon is a theoretical alternative building block to carbon. The lifeform appears to be eating the silicon from the sample.
Experiment F – ISS AMS hack
How many new counts of radiation are detected every 5 minutes?
What kind of radiation does the AMS detect? Also, what is the altitude of the ISS?
Using a calculator or Excel or your mind, calculate the difference between the numbers every 5 minutes.
There is a spike in radiation when the ISS is close to the asteroid in space (similar altitudes). The AMS is detecting antimatter coming from the asteroid’s antimatter rocket which it used to slow down, stop, and stay floating once it got to Earth.
Experiment G – Waste production analysis
You’re witnessing a combustion reaction. What chemical could make the lit match burn (combust) brighter when exposed to the meteorite fragment?
Oxygen is required for combustion. What reaction produces oxygen?
Find the “oxygen” glossary entry and follow its links.
The meteorite fragment is producing oxygen. A reaction we know of that produces oxygen is photosynthesis.
Experiment H – Object recovery
The asteroid, “Big Boy”, and “Small Guy” are three different objects. Also, there’s something interesting about figure 3.
The “Small Guy” sample has been directly extracted from the much larger “Big Boy” sample.
Notice how there’s something missing from figure 3 considering that “Big Boy” is a big rock?
“Small Guy” and “Big Boy” are both meteorites that originate from the Asteroid. “Small Guy” has been directly extracted from the much larger “Big Boy” meteorite. Also, notice how “Big Boy” has not left behind a big impact crater. A meteorite of its size should have made a big mark if it crashed to Earth.
Experiment I – Detection of genetic material
Genetic material is usually used to help the cell make protein. But what other unorthodox function could the genetic material serve?
It is possible to store information within genetic material.
Search for “communication”.
A huge amount of data has been encoded within the genetic material, ready for humanity to decode.
Experiment J – Recovery site
What did Dr. Chen say about the “Big Boy” recovery site?
The “Big Boy” meteorite did not create an impact crater when it came down to Earth. Considering it’s large size, this is quite unexpected. Perhaps it slowed down.
Think about what internal or external force could gently slow down a large rock. Look back to Experiment F.
The “Big Boy” meteorite likely has some sort of propulsion system enabling it to land gently on Earth.
Experiment K – Electrical signal analysis
Are there any charts that stands out as different?
It will take you a long time to process each of the charts. Take a more directed approach and only process the ones you think will yield results.
Process and combine charts volt_xbhA_13, volt_xbhA_16, and volt_xbhA_18.
There’s a secret message hidden within “Big Boy”.
Experiment L – Radiation analysis
Remember that we are specifically interested in gamma radiation.
Do you remember that the meteorite did not create an impact crater?
Search for “gamma radiation”.
The meteorite is releasing gamma radiation on one side. This is likely due to the presence of an antimatter rocket which would have decelerated the meteorite upon entry and prevented an impact crater from being formed.
Experiment M – Spectra analysis
Which of the four planets has molecules in its atmosphere that are required for life?
Shouldn’t there be carbon dioxide (CO2)? Is there any molecule that might substitute for carbon dioxide?
Where else have you encounted SiO2 (aka silicon dioxide)? It all fits together.
Exoplanet HD 90144 b is the most likely candidate. It has SiO2, which plays the same role here as CO2. The planet’s star is also on the verge of exploding, which is relevant to the overall mystery.