Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Radio receivers record cosmic rays hitting Earth

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A small prototype array in Germany has detected several radio flashes from cosmic rays that smack into the Earth's upper atmosphere. A larger array, with more of these low-cost radio antennas, could help astrophysicists decipher the mystery behind the highest energy cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays are high-speed sub-atomic particles - mostly nuclei and protons - that zip around space in all directions. Lucky for us, they cannot plow very far into our atmosphere before they collide with a gas molecule.

From these collisions come showers of secondary particles - including electrons, anti-electrons (called positrons), and muons, which are like heavy electrons. Cosmic rays can be characterized by the showers they produce.

Surprisingly, some of these space-faring projectiles have a 100 million times more energy than is possible in man-made accelerators. There are no "cosmic accelerators" in our galactic neighborhood that seem powerful enough to generate particles with this much energy.

Therefore, these so-called ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) presumably come from colliding galaxies or large black holes hundreds of millions of light years away. But that raises a problem: cosmic "stuff" along the way will slow - or even outright destroy - high-energy particles traveling these great distances.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Canonical in Talks with Android OEM Partners for Ubuntu Phones

Canonical is said to be in talks with Android OEM partners, the CEO of the company Jane Silber recently said. Read more

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Is Getting Its Fourth Update on February 18

Canonical is preparing to launch the fourth point release for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) on February 18, which is a week later than previously expected. Read more

Installing Ubuntu MATE on a MacBook Pro with UEFI

Back in October, I explained how you can install Ubuntu on a Mac. It was a complete guide that included everything from dual-booting with OS X down to making sure the you’re able to use the right tools for the initial partitioning. In this article, we take it to the next level by doing the same with an older MacBook Pro while still using UEFI ala rEFit. Note: rEFit has been depreciated and you may wish to try rEFind instead. For the sake of my tests, I found rEFit did the job just fine on under OS X Mavericks. (Read the rest)

KDE's new Linux distro: Terrible idea, or simply a huge mistake?

Third… having a specific KDE distro at all seems a bit strange, at least to me (and I am only speaking for myself here, and not any project I am involved with). Having a distro that decides to build its own desktop environment is one thing (a la the Ubuntu team building Unity), but having a desktop environment (one that has put so much focus on being portable) that decides to build its own distro? I can see a whole mess of problems cropping up around that. Ranging from relationship issues with existing distributions using KDE to development and QA issues for a portable desktop environment when there is now a single, standard distro that the KDE project standardizes around. Read more