Ray Tracing: Energetic cosmic rays linked to giant black holes | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Ray Tracing: Energetic cosmic rays linked to giant black holes

By
11:56am, November 7, 2007

Imagine a single proton smashing into Earth's atmosphere with as much punch as a fast-pitch baseball. For decades, scientists have suspected that protons and other particles with such huge energies, known as ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, arise in the tumultuous surroundings of giant black holes at the centers of galaxies.

Now, the sprawling Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina has found the first solid evidence linking these exceedingly rare cosmic rays—the most energetic particles in the universe—to supermassive black holes in nearby galaxies.

"This is a landmark finding for both cosmic-ray physics and astrophysics," says Auger researcher Paul Mantsch of the Fermi National

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content