Telescope in Utah Detects Mysterious Cosmic Ray Beyond Our Galaxy
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Scientists in Utah have identified a rare cosmic ray believed to have come from beyond the Milky Way. The particle, nicknamed the Amaterasu particle after the Japanese sun goddess, was detected by the Telescope Array, a cosmic ray observatory located in Utah’s West Desert.
The Amaterasu particle is the most energetic cosmic ray ever detected, with an energy of about 320 exa-electron volts (EeV). This is more than 10 times the energy of the previous record holder, the “Oh My God” particle, which was detected in 1991.
“The Amaterasu particle is a truly extraordinary event,” said John Matthews, a spokesman for the Telescope Array Collaboration. “We’ve never seen anything like it before.”
The source of the Amaterasu particle is a mystery. Cosmic rays are high-energy particles that travel through space at nearly the speed of light. They are thought to originate from exploding stars, black holes, and other violent events in the universe.
However, the Amaterasu particle is so energetic that it is unlikely to have come from any source within the Milky Way. This suggests that it must have traveled from another galaxy, a journey of billions of light-years.
“The Amaterasu particle is giving us a new window into the universe,” said Matthews. “It’s helping us to understand the most extreme processes that occur in the cosmos.”
The detection of the Amaterasu particle is a major achievement for the Telescope Array Collaboration. The observatory has been operating since 2008, and it has detected more than 30 ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
“The Telescope Array is the most powerful cosmic ray observatory in the world,” said Matthews. “It’s allowing us to study these rare and mysterious particles in unprecedented detail.”
The detection of the Amaterasu particle is a reminder of the vastness and mystery of the universe. There is still so much that we don’t know about the cosmos, and the Telescope Array is helping us to unlock its secrets.