In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy

Jul 13, 2018

By Sarah Kaplan

When the sun was young and faint and the Earth was barely formed, a gigantic black hole in a distant, brilliant galaxy spat out a powerful jet of radiation. That jet contained neutrinos — subatomic particles so tiny and difficult to detect they are nicknamed “ghost particles.”

Four billion years later, at Earth’s South Pole, 5,160 sensors buried more than a mile beneath the ice detected a single ghostly neutrino as it interacted with an atom. Scientists then traced the particle back to the galaxy that created it.

The cosmic achievement, reported Thursday by a team of more than 1,000 researchers in the journal Science, is the first time scientists have detected a high-energy neutrino and been able to pinpoint where it came from. It heralds the arrival of a new era of astronomy in which researchers can learn about the universe using neutrinos as well as ordinary light.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

One comment on “In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.