A team of researchers at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina managed to trace back thousands of cosmic rays containing high energy particles, and shed some light on their mysterious origin. It seems these peculiar rays have not been produced within our own Milky Way, and they seem to have traveled far, from other galaxies.
Cosmic rays don’t come from inside the Milky Way
There are plenty of particles traveling through space and around all the cosmic objects, and these particles have different electric charges. Those with lower energy are known to come from the sun, and to be part of solar winds. However, these particles have some high energy siblings, called cosmic rays, whose origin has remained unknown so far.
Researchers analyzed the trajectory these cosmic rays had as they approached Earth, and concluded they are originating in Milky Way. Their direction shows they have traveled quite a lot, as they’ve been produced somewhere outside our galaxy. After twelve years of intense study, the 1,600 particle detectors at Pierre Auger Observatory managed to determine the origin of the high energy particles.
Finding the origin of high energy particles can tell a lot about the origin of the universe
Finding out the secrets of cosmic rays is of crucial importance for revealing how galaxy formation works. Also, it might shed light on a new perspective on the Big Bang. However, telling which is their exact origin remains a difficult task. As they are charged with high levels of energy, the magnetic fields they met on their way could have deviated their trajectory.
The study on the cosmic rays has been published in the journal Science. It reveals how most of the high energy particles which reach Earth are coming from regions opposed to the center of Milky Way. These might be galaxies with black holes in their center, which could have generated the cosmic rays.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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