Scientists are searching for answers to a new space mystery after a telescope in Utah detected the most powerful cosmic rays seen in more than three decades. New research Published Thursday in the journal Science.
An enigmatic, extremely rare, ultra-high-energy particle is believed to have traveled to Earth from beyond the Milky Way galaxy, although the exact origin of this turbocharged particle from space remains a mystery. Some experts have suggested that the cosmic ray, known as the Amaterasu particle after the sun goddess in Japanese mythology, may have been created by unknown physics.
A step Article published in Nature, a British science journal, said the “amazing” discovery “has surprised some scientists that it could produce so much energy,” said astronomer Clancy James of Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Cosmic rays are invisible, charged particles — often a proton — that travel through space at close to the speed of light from other galaxies and extragalactic sources.
Cosmic rays with energies greater than 100 exa-electron volts (EeV) are rarely detected. According to NASACosmic rays continue to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and “provide one of our few direct samples. matter From outside the solar system.”
Cosmic ray discovered decades ago ‘more energetic than theoretically possible’
The most powerful cosmic ray, named the Oh-My-God particle, was discovered 30 years ago and measured about 320 exa-electron volts (EeV) when it was discovered. According to Nature, an EeV is about a million times larger than that achieved by the most powerful particle accelerators ever created by man.
“Nothing in our galaxy has the energy to produce it, and the particle has more energy than is theoretically possible for cosmic rays traveling to Earth from other galaxies.” According to a report from the University of Utah. “Simply put, the (oh-my-god) particle should not exist.”
The most recently discovered cosmic ray — which was first detected on May 27, 2021 at a telescope array in Millard County, Utah — is estimated at 240 EeV. Astronomer Toshihiro Fujii of Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan spotted the “surprising” signals while conducting a routine data check on the telescope.
Initially skeptical, Fujii wondered if there had been a bug in the software, or if some of the facility’s detectors had been super-powered. Ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays typically have a smooth path through space (meaning they are unaffected by galactic and extra-stellar magnetic fields), making it easy for scientists to detect a galactic explosion, black hole, or galaxy. Spike came from.
Where do high energy cosmic rays originate?
The exact origin of these high-energy particles remains unclear even after years of research. When scientists tried to find the Oh-My-God particle and this new particle, the path to its source didn’t have enough energy to produce it, said John Matthews, a co-spokesman for the telescope array. University of Utah and co-author of the study.
“That’s the mystery of it – what’s going on?” Mathews said.
According to John BellsProfessor in University of Utah And the study’s co-author said, “These events seem to come from completely different places in the sky.” The largest ever discovered seem to originate from voids, or empty space.
“It’s not like there’s a mysterious source.” bells said. “It could be flaws in the fabric of spacetime, colliding cosmic strings. I mean, I spit out the crazy ideas people come up with because there’s no conventional explanation.
Fujii and his team are working on upgrading the telescope array to be four times more sensitive than before, which will allow researchers to capture these rare ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays and pinpoint their origin more precisely.