Extraterrestrial “ghost particles” likely come from the core of a galaxy fed by a supermassive black hole, according to a new study that may unlock the mystery of these pre-universe subatomic particles.
Ghost particles, or neutrinos, have baffled scientists since they were first discovered in 1956 because they have no mass and barely interact with matter.
These tiny, uncharged particles are racing through the universe almost unaffected by objects or natural forces, but they are the second most common particle on Earth after photons.
The galactic core, known as a blazar, is a galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its center and its beam directed directly at Earth.
A research team led by the University of Würzburg has identified the source of the ghost particle by cross-referencing data on particle trajectories and the University of Würzburg’s position in the universe.
They found that 10 of the 19 neutrino hotspots were blazers.
The task of unraveling the mystery of ghost particles is very important because it will provide a better understanding of how it evolved from the simple particles to the complex particles that make up everything around us.
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Artist’s impression of an active galactic core where ghost-like subatomic particles may have originated
At the center of most galaxies, including our Milky Way, is a supermassive black hole that forms a disk of gas, dust and stellar debris around it.
When matter in the disk falls toward the black hole, its gravitational energy can be converted into light, making the centers of these galaxies very bright and called active galactic nuclei (AGNs).
When a galaxy collapses in such a way that its rays are directed toward the Earth, it is called a blazer and is a consistent theory to produce ghost particles.
This conclusion was made by researchers who collected data in 2008 and 2015 from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, the most sensitive neutrino detector on Earth.
The study determined that the ghost particles came from blazers by collecting particle data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica (pictured)
It is then compared to BZCat, a list of over 3,500 items most likely to be blazers.
The results showed that 10 of the 19 IceCube hotspots found in the southern sky may have originated from a blazer.
Dr Andrea Tramasseri, a researcher in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Geneva, said in a statement: The discovery of a high-energy neutrino factory is a milestone in astrophysics.
“It puts us one step ahead in solving the age-old mystery of the origin of cosmic rays.”
Scientists have been trying to study the elusive particle ever since it was first predicted by Wolfgang Pauli in 1931.
Many believe they may hold the key to understanding the parts of the universe that remain hidden from our view, such as dark matter and dark energy.
The high-energy neutrinos were first detected on September 22, 2017 by IceCube Observatory, a massive facility that sank a mile below the South Pole.
Here, a network of more than 5,000 ultra-sensitive sensors captures the characteristic “Cherenkov” blue light emanating from the interaction of neutrinos with ice.
Neutrinos are believed to have been created by jets of high-energy cosmic rays interacting with nearby matter.
Professor Paul O’Brien, a member of the international team of astronomers from the University of Leicester, said: “Neutrinos rarely interact with matter.
Finding them entirely out of universe was surprising, but identifying a possible source was a victory.
These results will allow us to study the most powerful and most distant energy sources in the universe in completely new ways.