AGN's and Cosmic Rays
Last week the phenomenon of ultra-high energy cosmic rays was linked to giant Black Holes. The most energetic particles in the Universe, more powerful than those produced by human accelerators, are in cosmic rays. Scientists don't even know how energetic these particles can get. Ultra-high energy cosmic rays have been nicknamed "Oh My God" particles.
Using the Auger Observatory in Argentina, astronomers have linked the origin of some high-energy cosmic rays to active galactic nuclei. AGN's are energetic cores of galaxies powered by supermassive Black Holes. Scientists still don't know how the galactic cores are formed. Size of a primordial singularity is limited by a horizon distance related to the speed of light. Supermassive Primordial Black Holes ar more indications of a changing speed of light.
The most energetic cosmic rays don't reach Auger at all, but are stopped by Earth's upper atmosphere. Here they scatter into a shower of secondary particles. Source of the electrical discharges in lightning storms has been another mystery. Since cosmic rays fall on Earth constantly, some have suggested that they are the source of lightning. If true, it is one more example of how are lives are intertwined with Space.
To observe the most energetic cosmic rays, we must go beyond the atmosphere. Spacecraft like SWIFT and GLAST can detect these rays and possibly locate their source. Sources of many cosmic rays are still unidentified. They could be the explosions of tiny primordial Black Holes, or possibly something else. We are only begiining to learn about cosmic gamma rays.
CERN claims to have detected a fountain of antimatter erupting from the core of our Milky Way galaxy. Their "antimatter flash" video is above. More news in the new Carnival of Space!