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

Linux 4.0-rc2

So rc2 missed the usual Sunday afternoon timing, because I spent most of the weekend debugging an issue that happened on an old Mac Mini I have around, and I hate making even early -rc releases with problems on machines that I have direct access to. Even if it only affected old machines that actual developers are unlikely to have or at least use. Today I got the patch from Daniel Vetter to fix it, so instead of doing a Sunday evening rc2, it's a Tuesday morning one. Go get it. It works better for the delay. Other than that little one-liner i915 fix? Not much, actually. It's been a very quiet week, for being this early in the release process. Sure, 3.19-rc2 was even smaller, so it continues a trend, but that was the xmas week. I hope this low volume is just because the 4.0 merge window itself was somewhat calmer than most recent releases. But I suspect the real reason is that the driver and networking trees from GregKH and davem are pending, and didn't make rc2. We'll see. Anyway, the shortlog is appended, and testing is appreciated, Linus Read more

6 Linux-y announcements from Mobile World Congress

I earlier wrote about how Linux invaded CES 2015. The domination continues at Mobile World Congress, which kicked off this week in Barcelona. Here are some of the major announcements from MWC that show that Linux has become an unstoppable force. Read more

Jolla shows off Sailfish tablet, promises ultra-secure phone

Jolla released Sailfish OS 2.0, showed off the first tablet to run the OS, and announced plans with SSH to develop a security-hardened version of Sailfish. Read more

New Ubuntu Phone Separates the App from the Data

As CIO Journal has noted, Mr. Shuttleworth envisions the rise of an Ubuntu-powered phone that runs desktop grade applications and plugs into peripherals such as large displays and keyboards. In other words, he is working to achieve true mobile-desktop-laptop convergence — the only computer you need, in your pocket, all the time. He tried to raise $32 million to fund development of such a phone, known as the Edge, in a widely publicized crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign ended in 2013, short of its goal. Read more