Antarctica Experiment Discovers Puzzling Space Ray Pattern
By Clara Moskowitz | LiveScience.com
A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica.
Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles streaming in from space that are thought to originate in the distant remnants of dead stars.
But it turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another.
This odd pattern was detected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, an experiment still under construction that is actually intended to detect other exotic particles called neutrinos. In fact, scientists have gone out of their way to try to block out all signals from cosmic rays in order to search for the highly elusive neutrinos, which are much harder to find.
This "skymap," generated in 2009 from data collected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, shows the relative intensity of cosmic rays directed toward the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and elsewhere identified an unusual pattern of cosmic rays, with an excess (warmer colors) detected in one part of the sky and a deficit (cooler colors) in another. [Credit: IceCube collaboration, UW-Madison]
Yet in sifting through their cosmic-ray data to try to separate it from possible neutrino signals, the researchers noticed the intriguing pattern.
"IceCube was not built to look at cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are considered background," said University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Rasha Abbasi in a statement. "However, we have billions of events of background downward cosmic rays that ended up being very exciting."
Previous studies have found a similar lopsidedness (called anisotropy) in the sky over the Northern Hemisphere, but this was the first time scientists saw that the pattern extended to the southern sky visible from Antarctica.
"At the beginning, we didn’t know what to expect," Abbasi said. "To see this anisotropy extending to the Southern Hemisphere sky is an additional piece of the puzzle around this enigmatic effect — whether it’s due to the magnetic field surrounding us or to the effect of a nearby supernova remnant, we don’t know."
One idea to explain the asymmetry is that a star may have recently died in a supernova explosion relatively nearby, and its remnant may be pouring out loads of cosmic rays that would dominate the signals we receive.
Whether or not the mystery gets solved, the observations could help scientists understand more about how cosmic rays are formed in the first place. Growing consensus favors the supernova remnant idea, though the details are not hammered out. Scientists think that the shells around dead stars, made of puffed-out layers of gas that were expelled by the star before it exploded, contain strong magnetic fields that may act as cosmic particle accelerators, speeding up particles to close to the speed of light.
"This is exciting because this effect could be the ’smoking gun’ for our long-sought understanding of the source of high-energy cosmic rays," Abbasi said.
Article from: livescience.com
Also tune into:
Susan Joy Rennison - A New Cosmic Age, Space Weather & Cosmic Radiation
Susan Joy Rennison - Plasma Phenomena, UFOs, Plasma Entities & The Return of our Ancestors
Alex Putney - Human Resonance, Sacred Sites, Pyramids & Standing Waves
Rens van der Sluijs - Plasma Mythology & The Axis Mundi
Freddy Silva - Ancient Sacred Sites, Invisible Temples, Giants & Our Ancestors
Wallace Thornhill - The Electric Universe
Mysterious Mountains Hidden Beneath Antarctic Ice Revealed
NASA Finds Shrimp-Like Creature, Jellyfish Beneath Antarctic Ice Sheet: "We Were Just Gaga Over It"
Map Characterizes Active Lakes Below Antarctic Ice
Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away
The lost world beneath the Antarctic ice
Expedition Sets Off for Antarctic Mountains That “Shouldn’t Be There”
Unique fossil discovery shows Antarctic was once much warmer
Massive volcano beneath Antarctic ice
Discovered: Cosmic Rays from a Mysterious, Nearby Object
Origin of Cosmic Rays Confirmed
Latest News from our Front Page
Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.
“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior ...
The Return of the Protected Jewish Minority in Europe
Contrary to the standard narratives of Jewish ‘history,’ a prominent feature of the historical presence of Jews in Europe has been their protected status. The common context for this status was a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish minority and exploitative or tyrannical elites. As agents of the feared elite, as foreigners, as exploiters in their own right, and with interests ...
Truth Revealed: McCain’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ in Syria ARE ISIS
Poor John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Washington’s real first couple. They only want to arm the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. Three years on, how come their master plan isn’t working, while ISIS has grown so strong?
Despite what media lauded as, “the largest demonstration in France’s history – bigger than liberation at the end of WWII!” (can you rightly compare the ...
European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction?
Comment: This is an interesting article about Muslim no-go Zones in Europe. However, keep in mind that the focus in this piece is not addressing the root of the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Yes, there is an issue with large Islamic colonies in Europe today, but the article mentions nothing about who has changed the immigration laws ...
A Radical Traditionalist Critique of the Anti-Islam Movement
The terrorist attack against the staff at the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris shook an entire continent. In a European climate in which protests against the perceived Islamization of our civilizational sphere becomes ever more widespread, showing in increased electoral success for moderate nationalist parties, as well as in expressions of mass public dissent, the recent resurgence of violent Islamic ...
|More News » |