High energy cosmic rays may be released during commonly occurring stellar explosions. The discovery suggests these explosions can sometimes be more powerful than we believed, and might give us a better idea of how they occur.
Galactic cosmic rays – particles that move at close to the speed of light – are nearly always accompanied by very high energy gamma radiation. This co-occurrence is helpful because cosmic rays are deflected by magnetic fields before they reach Earth, making it difficult to work out where they came from. But the gamma radiation isn’t deflected, so …
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