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A bid to implode cosmic ray theory

Supernovas alone don’t account for fast-moving hydrogen and helium nuclei, a new study contends

6:31pm, March 3, 2011

The confirmed origin of ordinary cosmic rays may need to be unconfirmed.

New data gathered by an instrument onboard a Russian spacecraft challenge the theory that most cosmic rays are fueled by supernovas, the explosions created by dying stars.

“The mechanism for the acceleration of cosmic rays needs to be completely revised,” says Piergiorgio Picozza, a physicist at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy. Picozza is a coauthor of a March 3 paper in Science detailing the new observations of the Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics, or PAMELA, instrument.

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