Cosmic ‘ghost particle’ traced offering new ‘window on the universe’

IceCube lab at the South Pole

Scientists first started theorizing about neutrinos in the 1930s, and by 1956, they confirmed their existence.

A breakthrough in the study of ghostly particles called high-energy neutrinos that traverse space, zipping unimpeded through people, planets and whole galaxies, is giving scientists an audacious new way to expand our understanding of the cosmos.

Researchers believe we could use high-energy neutrinos to examine distant objects in space.

'In many ways neutrinos are nature's ideal astronomical messenger.

The team says that this observation campaign is a step in solving something scientists have puzzled over for decades- the origins of cosmic rays.

This discovery is exciting for many reasons; not only does it help understand the universe around us and where we come from, but it also is the beginning of an entirely new field of study.

The IceCube Laboratory is pictured at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, in Antarctica, in 2017 and released on July 12, 2018. Discovering neutrinos is very hard because they often pass through the Earth without ever being detected.

Cosmic rays are energetic particles radiation that travel at almost the speed of light and bombard the Earth.

Unusual cosmic "ghost particles" have been traced to their source by a research station buried in the ice near the South Pole in a major breakthrough.

A neutrino that interacts with its surroundings is very rare. The direction from which they arrive points directly back to their original source. The IceCube detector is a massive device made by drilling 86 holes into the Antarctic ice that are each 2,500 meters deep. 5,160 light sensors were lowered into those holes and spread out over one cubic kilometer. The key detection came on September 22, 2017, with the neutrino ultimately traced back to the blazar.

Not all neutrinos are the high-energy variety. These cosmic particles are uncharged, unlike cosmic rays.

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