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Space & Astronomy

Extremely high-energy 'sun goddess' particle falls to Earth from space

By T.K. Randall
November 24, 2023 · Comment icon 15 comments
High-energy particle reaches Earth.
Image Credit: CC BY-NC-SA Osaka Metropolitan Univ. / L-INSIGHT / Kyoto Univ. et al.
The particle is over one million times more energetic than anything generated by the Large Hadron Collider.
Discovered by researchers using the Telescope Array experiment in Utah, the new particle is so beyond anything ever seen before that it could open up a whole new branch of astrophysics.

New types of high energy particle are quite rare and only a few - such as the "Oh My God" particle detected in 1991 and the Higgs Boson in 2012 - have even been discovered.

This latest find, known as the "sun goddess" or "Amaterasu" particle, arrived on Earth quite unexpectedly from deep space among a shower of other, less energetic particles.

With an energy exceeding 240 exa-electron volts, this new particle is several orders of magnitude greater than anything produced with particle accelerators on Earth and is in fact one of the most energic particles ever detected, anywhere.

The particle seems to have originated from what is known as the Local Void - an empty region of space next to the Milky Way galaxy - but beyond that, we don't know where or how it was created.
"Things that people think of as energetic, like supernova, are nowhere near energetic enough for this," said John Matthews of the University of Utah. "You need huge amounts of energy, really high magnetic fields, to confine the particle while it gets accelerated."

It is possible that the particle was produced by some unknown phenomenon that we have yet to discover or that its existence highlights limitations in our own understanding of the universe.

"The particles are so high energy, they shouldn't be affected by galactic and extra-galactic magnetic fields," said Matthews. "You should be able to point to where they come from in the sky."

"But in the case of the Oh-My-God particle and this new particle, you trace its trajectory to its source and there's nothing high energy enough to have produced it."

"That's the mystery of this - what the heck is going on?"

Source: The Guardian | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Piney 3 months ago
That's similar to my theory I just posted above, but who knows. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 months ago
Heh!*    " The Void  "   . . . . that's one of my phrases   re: The particle seems to have originated from what is known as the Local Void - an empty region of space next to the Milky Way galaxy - but beyond that, we don't know where or how it was created.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 months ago
Exactly my plaint. This: ""Things that people think of as energetic, like supernova, are nowhere near energetic enough for this," said John Matthews of the University of Utah." How is this planet still here??? something is wrong with their measurements.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 months ago
Pretty decent term, Nosy 
Comment icon #10 Posted by fred_mc 3 months ago
I like mysteries ? .
Comment icon #11 Posted by smokeycat 3 months ago
Maybe God sneezed...
Comment icon #12 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 months ago
Yeah I used it a lot, oh and along with """it'll be back in a bit." Sure enough after lunch, the diode whatever was right in the middle of the floor and everyone blamed each other because we were thinking PRANK! Sometimes things go missing LIKE MY KEYS! lately. Fortunately for me, (YES!)they are in the void between the seats half the time. This was intriguing, I never thought of that .... ""   How is this planet still here??? something is wrong with their measurements.     "
Comment icon #13 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 months ago
So where did it "fall" ? Was it seen by anyone? Did it burned the ground when it touched? Did it touched something? 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 months ago
It didn't actually fall anywhere, that's a bit of click-baiting journalism. It was detected by the Telescope Array experiment in Utah.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 months ago
Should have been named 'Amateur-aso!' particle.


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