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Space & Astronomy

Scientists detect cosmic 'ghost particle'

By T.K. Randall
July 13, 2018 · Comment icon 4 comments

The particle was detected by the IceCube observatory in Antarctica. Image Credit: IceCube/NASA
A particle that has traveled from deep space could help scientists to unravel the mysteries of the universe.
Known as a neutrino, the ghost-like subatomic particle was picked up by an international team of scientists at the IceCube observatory - a huge facility situated a mile beneath the South Pole.

Neutrinos are particularly difficult to detect because they pass straight through just about everything.

By analyzing its trajectory and tracing its path through space, the scientists were able to track the particle back to an extremely energetic galaxy situated four billion light years away.
The research could finally solve one of the most enduring mysteries is cosmology - the origin of galactic cosmic rays - as well as provide a new way to peer in to the depths of space.

The breakthrough, coupled with the recent detection of gravitational waves, has the potential to open up a whole new world of astrophysics that simply wasn't possible before.

"Neutrinos rarely interact with matter," said Professor Paul O'Brien. "To detect them at all from the cosmos is amazing, but to have a possible source identified is a triumph. This result will allow us to study the most distant, powerful energy sources in the universe in a completely new way."

Source: Independent | Comments (4)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun 6 years ago
Scientist also released a strange message they received just a fraction of a second before the neutrino hit the Earth.. "Who the heck put that planet in my way?"
Comment icon #2 Posted by Boozemonkey 6 years ago
The lab is a mile beneath the South Pole?? That's amazing in itself...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Neutrinos can pass clean through the Earth and out the other side. Neutrino labs are deep underground to exclude other particles from interfering with the detectors.
Comment icon #4 Posted by TripGun 6 years ago
Neutrinos are a natural product of radioactive decay and being of neutral charge they don't bond to anything so they pass on through.


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