Scientists recently detected the most powerful cosmic ray seen in more than three decades, which has been named ‘Amaterasu’.
- It is one of the highest-energy cosmic rays ever detected.
- It has been named Amaterasu after the Japanese sun goddess.
- It has an energy exceeding 240 exa-electron volts (EeV). That is millions of times more than particles produced in the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful accelerator ever built, and equivalent to the energy of a golf ball travelling at 95mph.
- It comes only second to the Oh-My-God particle, another ultra-high-energy cosmic ray that came in at 320 EeV, detected in 1991.
- Amaterasu appears to have emerged from the Local Void, an empty area of space bordering the Milky Way galaxy.
What are Cosmic Rays?
- They are echoes of violent celestial events that have stripped matter of its subatomic structures and hurled it through the universe at nearly the speed of light.
- Essentially, cosmic rays are charged particles with a wide range of energies consisting of positive protons, negative electrons, or entire atomic nuclei that travel through space and rain down onto Earth nearly constantly.
- They hit Earth’s upper atmosphere and blast apart the nucleus of oxygen and nitrogen gas, generating many secondary particles.
- These travel a short distance in the atmosphere and repeat the process, building a shower of billions of secondary particles that scatter to the surface.
Q1) What is the speed of light?
Light moves at an incredible 186,000 miles per second (300,000 kilometers per second), equivalent to almost 700 million mph (more than 1 billion km/h). That's fast enough to circumnavigate the globe 7.5 times in one second.