Where do cosmic rays come from?
Questions and answers

Where do cosmic rays come from?

The mysterious origin of cosmic rays could soon be resolved thanks to the latest discoveries that point to particle acceleration in space.

Nearly one century after the discovery of cosmic rays, we still do not know where they come from and why they arrived on Earth. The only thing we know for sure is that slightly over 95% of the cosmic rays that reach the top of the atmosphere are high-energy protons. The rest are helium and other nucleii.

The only thing we know for sure is that slightly over 95% of the cosmic rays that reach the top of the atmosphere are high-energy protons

Previously it was speculated that the origin of cosmic rays could be in the gamma ray explosions that could have taken place during the collapse of large stars to form black holes, but this does not seem to be correct since it would have produced high-energy neutrines, and observations at the Antarctic have found no proof of this.

Some of the particles that form cosmic rays have very high energies, as high as 1,020 electronvolts (significantly over the 1,012 that will be achieved with the Large Hadron Collider). These enormous energies could have resulted from the acceleration of protons in very large distances, prossibly because of the explosions of supernovas, fotons from the big bang or massive black holes. The trajectory of these protons would be affected by magnetic fields, making them reach Earth from all directions.

These enormous energies could have resulted from the acceleration of protons in very large distances, prossibly because of the explosions of supernovas, fotons from the big bang or massive black holes

It is believed that cosmic rays could come from gas collisions in the interstellar space. Gamma rays have been detected from the remnants of supernovas and it has been discovered that the new supernovas have stronger magnetic fields and produce cosmic rays with greater energy. The sources of the most potent cosmic rays, with almost 100 million teraelectronvolts (TeV= could be the great black holes of the centers of the galaxies.

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