The scientists made a huge discovery that could entirely change the way we study the galaxies. The study has been released in the journal Science on July 12th. According to the researchers, they discovered in Antarctica a “ghost particle” from another galaxy that can solve out some of the mysteries of the Universe.
What are these “ghost particles”?
“Ghost particles” are also called neutrinos, and they are subatomic particles with a very low mass, almost massless, and with no electric charge, so they can travel through matter but rarely interact with their surroundings.
While the majority of these “ghost particles” come from the Sun, some of them possessed high energies and traveled to Earth from a very distant supermassive black hole.
However, neutrinos are almost untraceable, and the astronomers couldn’t detect their origins. Fortunately, that it has been the case until now, as the scientists found a way to make that possible.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica found a “ghost particle” from another galaxy
Using approximately 5,000 sensors place beneath the ice sheet of the South Pole, the researchers at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory managed to detect a “ghost particle,” a neutrino, interacting with a single atom. The peculiarity of this discovery is that this is the first time when the scientists could trace the particle back to its point of origin.
According to them, the particle originated from a “distant blazar, a huge elliptical galaxy with a fast-spinning supermassive black hole at its heart.”
Why is this discovery significant?
Neutrinos travel in the Universe without being damaged or lost, so every “ghost particle” interaction with atoms or matter tells a lot of scientific information. Based on that, scientists dubbed these particles as “the messengers” as they can carry precious data about galaxies, black holes, and light through space and time.
On the other hand, the discovery also allowed scientists to solve out another mystery of the Universe, namely, the cosmic rays which are highly-energetic particles that often strike our planet. Accordingly, the researchers found out that “blazars are accelerators of at least some of the fastest-moving cosmic rays as well.”