Scientists map particles’ birthplaces
M.G. Aartsen et al/arxiv.org 2014
In the dark depths of an Antarctic glacier, flashes of light triggered by wispy particles called neutrinos are providing rare clues about the universe’s most extreme environments. After discovering the first high-energy neutrinos from beyond the solar system late last year, researchers with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory spent 2014 tracing the particles’ origins to the locations of the mysterious violent objects that produced them.
“For the first time, I can point to an area in the sky and say there’s an ultrahigh-energy object there,” says IceCube astrophysicist Nathan Whitehorn of the University of California, Berkeley. The next step, he says, is using the neutrino data to identify those objects.