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Index – Science Technology – Cosmic rays of unknown origin have reached Earth, and scientists are confused

Index – Science Technology – Cosmic rays of unknown origin have reached Earth, and scientists are confused

The twentieth. At the end of the twentieth century, an event occurred for which researchers could not find an example in previous scientific records. A beam of massive energy reached Earth, surprising scientists so much that they simply called it the “Oh My God” phenomenon.

The case was considered unique for a long time, but during the processing of previous results, traces of a similar beam were found, which could reach Earth as early as 2021. The energy of this beam is about 240 eV. John Matthews, an astroparticle physicist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Science News According to him, he said:

That’s a huge amount of energy in an amazingly small body.

Cosmic rays travel through space in a wide energy path. The occurrence of those whose energy level exceeds one hundred electron volts is extremely rare. According to scientists’ estimates, there is an average of one per square kilometer of Earth every century. Moreover, the number of cases where the energy level exceeds 200 eV is even rarer.

When a cosmic ray reaches Earth, it hits a nucleus in the atmosphere and creates a series of additional particles that can be detected on the Earth’s surface. To be able to detect these particles, researchers created giant detector arrays.

This array contains more than 500 detectors and can monitor an area of ​​about 700 square kilometers. Regardless, determining its source is not an easy task.

The problem is that when a high-energy cosmic ray is detected on Earth, its resulting direction of arrival will not point toward the source because it can be deflected by any magnetic field in its path.

– says Noemi Globus, an astroparticle physicist at the University of California.

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hard mission

Based on the data available so far, the extremely high-energy rays are likely to come from outside the Milky Way.

Most scientists think they may come from places where cosmic influences are intense, such as places near the most massive black holes or star-producing galaxies, where star formation occurs faster. However, researchers believe that their source could not be very far away, because cosmic rays lose energy as they travel.

The problem is that the magnetic fields in the Milky Way’s environment scatter cosmic rays like a “nebula of light.” Scientists must take this variability into account for ray tracing.

The problem is that the current results point to an empty part of space as the source, where there are hardly any galaxies, let alone violent processes.

In fact, it points to nothingness, to the center of actual nothingness

– says Vasiliki Pavlidou, an astrophysicist working in Greece.

In his opinion, this is what makes the situation exciting. Perhaps this indicates that scientists are missing something. It is also possible that existing information about the galactic magnetic field is not yet sufficient for this research, and in the future it will be necessary to seek a more precise understanding of it.