It has been revealed that astronomers have found a rare and high-energy particle falling to Earth from outer space. Check out more details about this below.
Rare, high-energy particle falls on Earth
Scientists have detected one of the highest-energy cosmic rays ever recorded, which they named Amaterasu after the sun goddess in Japanese mythology. Although the origins of this cosmic ray remain unknown, experts believe that only the most powerful celestial events, much bigger than a star explosion, can produce them. John Matthews, a research professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in the US, stated that even supernovas, which are considered energetic, are nowhere near energetic enough to produce such cosmic rays.
“You need huge amounts of energy, really high magnetic fields to confine the particle while it gets accelerated.”
The Amaterasu particle boasts an energy level that surpasses 240 exa-electron volts (EeV), which is millions of times greater than the energy achieved by particles at the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful accelerator ever built.
It is the second-highest energy particle ever detected, with the Oh-My-God particle holding the top spot, possessing 320 EeV of energy, detected in 1991.
Toshihiro Fujii, an associate professor at Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan, was astounded when he discovered this ultra-high-energy cosmic ray, as it showed an energy level that had not been seen in the last three decades.
When ultra-high-energy cosmic rays collide with Earth’s atmosphere, they create a cascade of secondary particles and electromagnetic radiation, which is known as an extensive air shower.
Specialized instruments can detect a type of electromagnetic radiation produced by charged particles in the air shower. One such instrument is the Telescope Array observatory located in Utah, US.
Recently, the observatory detected the Amaterasu particle, which emerged from the Local Void – an empty area of space bordering the Milky Way galaxy.
This mysterious event has puzzled experts, who suggest that it could indicate a much larger magnetic deflection than predicted, an unidentified source in the Local Void, or an incomplete understanding of high-energy particle physics.