The cosmic ray of unknown origin

It was captured by the surface cosmic ray detector of the Telescope Array (TA) experiment, located in Utah, USA. The cosmic ray of unknown origin passed through the Earth's atmosphere in 2021. Its origin, to this day, remains unknown. a mystery.

Cosmic rays are charged particles that travel through space and fall on Earth constantly. And this is the second most powerful lightning bolt in history. The first took place in 1991. The High Resolution Fly's Eye experiment detected this other cosmic ray of higher energy. It was baptized with the name “Oh-My-God particle.” Nothing in our galaxy had the power to produce this beam.

The cosmic ray of unknown origin was named Amateratsu.
The cosmic ray of unknown origin was named Amaterasu.

Mysterious lightning

Since then, more than 30 ultra-high-energy cosmic rays have been observed, although none as powerful as the one in 1991. No observations have yet revealed their origin or how they can travel to Earth.

The new cosmic ray has been named “Amaterasu,” after the Shinto goddess of the Sun. Cosmic rays collide with the upper levels of the Earth's atmosphere quite frequently. Most carry one exaelectronvolt (EeV) of energy. But the small particle carried more than 240. What is the energy of this subatomic particle, invisible to the naked eye? It's equivalent to dropping a brick on your toe from waist height, experts say.

«The particles have so much energy that they should not be affected by galactic and extragalactic magnetic fields. “We should be able to point out where they come from in the sky.” It is explained by physicist John Matthews of the University of Utah and member of the Telescope Array collaboration that made the discovery. In the case of these two particles, there is nothing with enough energy to have produced it. It's a mystery.

The origin of the cosmic ray is a mystery.
The origin of the cosmic ray is a mystery.

Unknown origin

The cosmic ray of unknown origin appears to come from a desert region of the universe known as the cosmic void. It is an uninhabited area of ​​space bordering the Milky Way. Our atmosphere protects us from cosmic rays, but we still have some pretty effective ways to detect them. When colliding with other particles as they hit the atmosphere, a shower of particles falls to Earth. The observatories are responsible for detecting these particles by associating them with the cosmic ray that produced them.

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