New Type of Cosmic Ray Discovered After 100 Years

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2012) — Using the European X-ray astronomy satellite XMM-Newton(1), researchers from CNRS(2) and CEA (3) have discovered a new source of cosmic rays. In the vicinity of the remarkable Arches cluster, near the center of the Milky Way, these particles are accelerated in the shock wave generated by tens of thousands of young stars moving at a speed of around 700,000 km/h. These cosmic rays produce a characteristic X-ray emission by interacting with the atoms in the surrounding gas. Their origin differs from that of the cosmic rays discovered exactly a hundred years ago by Victor Hess, which originate in the explosions of supernovae.

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