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Possible source of high-energy neutrino reported

Distant blazar may have delivered particle to Antarctic observatory

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10:46am, April 7, 2016
illustration of a blazar

BLAZING GALAXY  Blazars, like the one in this illustration, blast a jet of light and matter towards Earth; they may also be the source of ultra-high energy neutrinos.

Scientists may have found the cosmic birthplace of an ultra-high energy neutrino. They point the finger at a blazar — a brilliantly luminous galaxy that shoots a jet of radiation in the direction of Earth — 9 billion light years away.

If the link between the blazar and neutrino is real, scientists would be closer to long-sought answers about where such power-packing particles come from. Violent astronomical accelerators boost some neutrinos to high energies, but scientists have never been able to convincingly identify their sources.

Neutrinos are aloof elementary particles that rarely interact with other matter — they can sail straight through the Earth, and trillions of them zip through your body every second without a trace. On December 4, 2012, the neutrino in question (which scientists have affectionately nicknamed Big Bird) slammed into the Antarctic ice with an energy of around 2 million billion electron volts. The neutrino observatory IceCube

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