The following is an excerpt from ERIC MACK | July 12, 2018 | cnet.com |
Scientists using data from a detector embedded in a huge block of ice at the South Pole have traced an eerie and elusive particle back to one of the most powerful objects in existence. In the process, they've unlocked a whole new way to look at the universe.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica in September detected a neutrino, which is a rather wild subatomic particle that travels near the speed of light and passes right through almost anything in its path like a ghost. The observatory almost instantly triggered an alert for other telescopes to check certain coordinates for a possible source.
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) Telescope in the Canary Islands both identified the same source of the wayward high-power particle: a flare of high-energy cosmic rays shooting into space from a distant supermassive black hole, a powerful phenomenon also known as a blazar.
This particular blazar is named TXS 0506+056 and located about 4 billion light-years from Earth in a galaxy that's not visible with the naked eye but is in the direction of the constellation Orion.
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