Icecube neutrino analysis suggests a possible source of interstellar cosmic rays

Zoom / Artist’s view of a cosmic neutrino source shining over the IceCube Observatory in Antarctica. Under the ice are optical detectors that pick up neutrino signals.

Ice Cube / NSF

Since it was proposed by the French physicist Pierre Auger in 1939 which – which cosmic rays Scientists are baffled as to why these powerful clusters of protons and neutrons are formed that streak through Earth’s atmosphere, carrying huge amounts of energy. One possible way to identify such sources is to trace the paths high-energy cosmic neutrinos take on their way to Earth, where they collide with cosmic ray matter or radiation to form particles that then decay into neutrinos and gamma rays.

Scientists with ice Cube The Antarctic Neutrino Observatory has analyzed a decade’s worth of neutrino discoveries and found evidence of a so-called active galaxy. Messier 77 (also known as Squid Galaxy) is a powerful candidate for a high-energy neutrino emitter. new paper Published in Science. This brings astrophysicists one step closer to solving the mystery of the origin of high-energy cosmic rays.

“This observation really represents the dawn of neutrino astronomy,” said Janet Conrad of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an IceCube member. APS Physics said. “We have struggled for a long time to see the sources of cosmic neutrinos of high importance that we have seen now. We have broken a barrier.”

as such We have already informedAnd the neutrinos It travels near the speed of light. John Updike’s 1959 poem, “cosmic bitterness, “praises two of the most distinguishing features of neutrinos: They have no charge, and for decades, physicists thought they had no mass (they actually had little mass). But they rarely interact with any matter, the millions of these tiny particles that we see every second, we are constantly bombarded, but they pass us unnoticed, which is why Isaac Asimov called them “ghost particles”.

When the neutrino interacts with particles in the clear ice of Antarctica, it creates secondary particles that leave behind a trail of blue light as it travels through the ice cube detector.
Zoom / When the neutrino interacts with particles in the clear ice of Antarctica, it creates secondary particles that leave behind a trail of blue light as it travels through the ice cube detector.

Nicole R. Fuller, iCube / NSF

This low level interaction creates neutrinos It is very difficult to detect, but they are so light that they can escape unimpeded (and thus largely unaltered) by colliding with other matter particles. This means that they can provide astronomers with valuable clues about distant systems, and can be studied with telescopes and gravitational waves across the electromagnetic spectrum. Together, these different sources of information are called “multi-sensor” astronomy.

Most neutrino hunters bury their experiments deep in the earth, and it is better to cancel out loud interference from other sources. As for the IceCube, it consists of arrays of basketball-sized optical sensors buried deep in the Antarctic ice cap. In those rare cases, when a transient neutrino interacts with the nucleus of an atom in ice, the collision produces charged particles that emit ultraviolet and blue photons. It is captured by sensors.

So IceCube will help scientists improve their knowledge of the origin of high-energy cosmic rays. Like Natalie Volkov Explanation in Quanta In 2021:

A cosmic ray is a nucleus – a proton or a group of protons and neutrons. Even rare, “ultra-energy” cosmic rays have the same amount of energy as professionally supplied tennis balls. At 99.9999991% of light, it is millions of times more powerful than the protons orbiting around the circular tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. In fact, the most energetic cosmic ray ever detected, nicknamed the “My God Particle,” hit the sky in 1991, traveling at 99.9999999999999999999999951 per cent the speed of light, giving it the energy of a bowling ball. High on the toe.

But where do such powerful cosmic rays originate? There is a strong possibility Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), found in the center of some galaxies. Its energy arises from the rotation of supermassive black holes and/or the black hole at the center of the galaxy.

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