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Where does cosmic ray come from?

March 12, 2010

All of us involved in spectroscopy have witnessed random sharp peaks arising in the measurements which are due to some random cosmic ray or “extragalactic high energy particles” including Gamma rays making all the way from outer space to earth’s atmosphere and finally finding our detectors. Cosmic rays entering earth’s atmosphere consist of many energetic particles of which only 1%  consists of Gamma rays.  But where do these high energy Gamma rays come from? Thanks to Fermi Gamma ray Telescope , we might be able to answer this question. Fermi Telescope which was launched in 2008, has  started sending data and initial data has already debunked few assumptions or the explanations for the source of Gamma rays. It was suspected that black-hole-powered jets from active galaxies were the majorsource of these Gamma rays but the recent data shows that these active galaxies can account for only 30% of the Gamma rays .Of the many objectives of Fermi experiments, one of the objective was to study and map the Gamma ray sky and to understand its origin in the space.   The picture shown here has been taken by Fermi telescope during the course of one year observation and blue color represents the Gamma ray background as seen by the telescope. The orange color is the rate at whihc the telescope sees the Gamma rays from different sky directions.

So where is the rest of contribution coming from? Maybe Dark matter? What exactly is dark matter and what are it’s properties? How do they interact to produce Gamma rays? Fermi will be able to provide answers to these questions, hopefully, in coming days…  Read more about Fermi

Filed under: Research,Science

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2 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. yash kapoor  |  March 17, 2010 at 7:38 am

    First: These high energy particles must really be in abundance, right? DO they typically show up in every experiment or that is also random?

    Second: Could collision of stars produce gamma rays (which could explain part of the percentage)?

  • 2. admin  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:10 am

    ya, they are in abundance in outer-space, but most of them don’t reach us. They show up randomly in experiments.

    Yup, its true, collision of stars, collapse of stars and formation of stars all might contribute to these gamma rays. How much is their contribution, we might be able to know soon.

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