Not to scare you, but you’re getting hit with radiation constantly. First, there’s just regular old light (yep, that’s a kind of radiation). Then there are low levels of higher energy radiation like the kind in nuclear reactors, including particles coming out of the soil and off of bananas. But the highest-energy…
New Horizons has been sending back some incredible information about Pluto, but the Dwarf planet isn’t the only thing it’s been studying. NASA recently noted that the spacecraft’s vantage point is ideal for studying Solar Wind, and it’s been doing just that.
There’s a long and colorful history of people trying to unlock the secret of how the Egyptian pyramids were built—and possibly find hidden rooms and corridors, for good measure. And now, a new international project aims to peer through the stone walls of these ancient structures, using cosmic rays.
At Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival in July, jazz pianist Al Blatter found himself jamming with an unusual collaborator: the so-called “cosmic piano,” an instrument developed by physicists at CERN that relies on data generated by cosmic rays to make beautiful music. Whenever a particle passes through a detector…
This is simultaneously cool and horrifying. Cosmic rays are actually particles—tiny protons and neutrons, that shoot through space. They’re too small to see, but astronauts may still be seeing them.
The Fly’s Eye was a crude cosmic ray detector perched on top a Utah mountain in the early 80s and 90s. It’s long obsolete now, but it’ll always have a place in astronomy history: On October, 15 1991, it detected something called the Oh-My-God particle, a cosmic ray going faster than astronomers thought possible.
If you could enlist your smartphone to become part of an earth-sized telescope searching for the source of cosmic rays, would you? Researchers at University of California are hoping you'd say yes—they've developed an app that will leverage the power of one million smartphone cameras to answer one of the great…
Cosmic rays rain down on the Earth every day. Most of them don't have that much of an effect, but some cause a chain reaction that makes an "air shower," raining billions of particles down onto the ground.
About once a century on any given square kilometer of Earth, a cosmic ray hits with mind-boggling intensity. The teeny tiny subatomic particle from space comes careening in with more than 10 million times the energy of particles shot out by the LHC. Where do these ultrahigh energy cosmic rays come from? Astronomers…
As far as universal limits go, the speed of light gets all the glory. But did you know there is a different speed limit for particles? It's called the GZK limit, and some people think it has already been exceeded. Which has some pretty weird implications for the laws of the universe.
An Italian scientist has taken 37 years worth of data from both Voyager space probes and turned it into music. The result is surprisingly good.
Every so often, incredibly energetic charged particles will reach Earth - and we're not sure what could possibly be powerful enough to generate these cosmic rays. Now we might have the answer...and it's just an absurdly specific set of circumstances.
450 million years ago, the Earth's warm oceans teemed with life we'd recognize as seaweed, starfish, clams, and coral reefs. Suddenly, over half these species died. Now scientists say it was caused by cosmic rays - and could happen again.
If you were wondering what the drastic decrease in solar activity might mean to you and me, wonder no longer — cosmic rays are hitting Earth at a much higher rate than any time in the last 50 years.