Ghostly Particles from Outer Space Detected in Antarctica

Residue from exploding stars, black holes and galactic cores

The IceCube Lab at the South Pole, lit up by star trails in this photo taken in July 2015. Image credits: IceCube Collaboration

Buried deep in the Antarctic ice, an observatory has spotted ghostly, nearly massless particles coming from inside our galaxy and points beyond the Milky Way.

Finding these cosmic neutrinos not only confirms their existence but also sheds light on the origins of cosmic rays, the researchers said.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is made up of 86 shafts dug 8,000 feet into the ice near the South Pole. The shafts are equipped with detectors that look for the telltale light from high-energy particles plowing through the surrounding ice.

Neutrinos have little mass, and zip through matter so easily that a block of lead a light-year across wouldn’t stop them. These elusive particles come from high-energy sources: exploding stars, black holes and galactic cores among them.

Written by Jesse Emspak, Live Science Contributor
Full report at Live Science

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