Mystery 'blob' emits cosmic rays

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Mystery 'blob' emits cosmic rays Empty Mystery 'blob' emits cosmic rays

Post by Rogue on Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:14 am

What could this be?

Mystery 'blob' emits cosmic rays
10 HOURS AGO JULY 09, 2014 9:52AM

A MYSTERIOUS "hot spot" in the sky is emitting unusual numbers of powerful cosmic rays, say scientists.

THE discovery may shed new light on the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which still cannot be fully explained.

The hot spot is centred two hand-widths below the "handle" of the Big Dipper, or Plough, an arrangement of seven stars within the Great Bear constellation.

"All we see is a blob in the sky, and inside this blob there is all sorts of stuff - various types of objects that could be the source," said US astronomer Professor Gordon Thomson, from the University of Utah. "Now we know where to look."

While lower energy cosmic rays come from the Sun, other stars, and exploding stars, the origin of the highest energy rays has been a decades-long mystery.

Discovered in 1912, cosmic rays are actually fast-moving particles - either bare protons from stripped hydrogen atoms or the nuclei of heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and iron.

Possible sources of high energy cosmic rays include super-dense neutron stars, noisy radio galaxies and shock waves from colliding galaxies.

More exotic explanations include decaying "cosmic strings" - hypothetical thread-like objects thinner than an atom - and massive particles left over from the Big Bang that gave birth to the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

The most powerful cosmic rays pack quite a punch in terms of energy - more than a billion, billion electrovolts.

Being hit on the head by just one of the particles would feel like a blow from a fast-pitched baseball, according to Dr Thomson's team, which operates the 14 million Telescope Array cosmic ray observatory in Utah.

Previous research has suggested that very high energy cosmic rays are not only rare but can appear from any point in the sky.

But the Telescope Array scientists found 19 high energy cosmic rays coming from the direction of the hot spot, compared with the 4.5 that would have been expected if their origin was random.

The odds that the hot spot is a statistical fluke are said to be only 1.4 in 10,000.
http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/mystery-blob-emits-cosmic-rays/story-e6frfkui-1226982391616
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Post by Rinoa on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:17 am

Wow cool. Very Happy 
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Post by X on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:43 am

Wok the heck?

they're here......

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Post by Agartha on Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:23 pm

WOW!! That is amazing!!!!!!!! .......and all the possibilities!!!
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Post by Rockhopper on Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:49 pm

Yep, there is a lot we still have to learn about even our little corner of space.

Tim.
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