NASA's Fermi mission sees no gamma rays from nearby supernova

A nearby supernova in 2023 offered astrophysicists an excellent opportunity to test ideas about how these types of explosions boost particles, called cosmic rays, to near light-speed. But surprisingly, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray ...

Examining the delicate balance of lepton flavors

In a talk at the ongoing Rencontres de Moriond conference, the ATLAS collaboration presented the result of its latest test of a key principle of the Standard Model of particle physics known as lepton flavor universality. ...

Fixing space-physics mistake enhances satellite safety

Correcting 50-year-old errors in the math used to understand how electromagnetic waves scatter electrons trapped in Earth's magnetic fields will lead to better protection for technology in space.

page 1 from 40

Cosmic ray

Cosmic rays are energetic particles originating from outer space that impinge on Earth's atmosphere. Almost 90% of all the incoming cosmic ray particles are protons, almost 10% are helium nuclei (alpha particles), and slightly under 1% are heavier elements and electrons (beta minus particles). The term ray is a misnomer, as cosmic particles arrive individually, not in the form of a ray or beam of particles.

The variety of particle energies reflects the wide variety of sources. The origins of these particles range from energetic processes on the Sun all the way to as yet unknown events in the farthest reaches of the visible universe. Cosmic rays can have energies of over 1020 eV, far higher than the 1012 to 1013 eV that man-made particle accelerators can produce. (See Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays for a description of the detection of a single particle with an energy of about 50 J, the same as a well-hit tennis ball at 42 m/s [about 94 mph].) There has been interest in investigating cosmic rays of even greater energies.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA