Mysterious "blob" emitting unusually high numbers of powerful cosmic rays.


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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Mysterious "blob" emitting unusually high numbers of powerful cosmic rays.

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Profile Wiggo
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Message 1538181 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 1:31:43 UTC

A mysterious "blob" emitting powerful cosmic rays near the Big Dipper may help scientists solve a 100yr cosmic ray mystery.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/mystery-blob-emits-cosmic-rays/story-fnjwlcze-1226982689060

http://www.space.com/26460-big-dipper-cosmic-ray-hotspot-mystery.html

A MYSTERIOUS "hot spot" in the sky is emitting unusual numbers of powerful cosmic rays, say scientists.

THE discovery may shed new light on the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which still cannot be fully explained.

The hot spot is centred two hand-widths below the "handle" of the Big Dipper, or Plough, an arrangement of seven stars within the Great Bear constellation.

"All we see is a blob in the sky, and inside this blob there is all sorts of stuff - various types of objects that could be the source," said US astronomer Professor Gordon Thomson, from the University of Utah. "Now we know where to look."

While lower energy cosmic rays come from the Sun, other stars, and exploding stars, the origin of the highest energy rays has been a decades-long mystery.

Discovered in 1912, cosmic rays are actually fast-moving particles - either bare protons from stripped hydrogen atoms or the nuclei of heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and iron.

Possible sources of high energy cosmic rays include super-dense neutron stars, noisy radio galaxies and shock waves from colliding galaxies.


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Message 1538234 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 4:48:58 UTC

How many light years away is this? What galaxy is it in? It doesn't really seem to say.
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Message 1538386 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 8:56:28 UTC - in response to Message 1538234.

How many light years away is this? What galaxy is it in? It doesn't really seem to say.

The 2nd link says that it's in the constellation of Ursa Major, but it's anyone's guess at the actual distance involved it seems.

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Message 1538416 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 9:47:32 UTC

Ursa Major or Great Bear is a star constellation. As such, one cannot think in terms of the distance to it because the stars that make up the constellation are not located in the same general area in space. Epsilon UMa, one of the stars that make up the constellation is also the closest at 64 light years.
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Message 1538423 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 10:04:49 UTC - in response to Message 1538416.

Ursa Major or Great Bear is a star constellation. As such, one cannot think in terms of the distance to it because the stars that make up the constellation are not located in the same general area in space. Epsilon UMa, one of the stars that make up the constellation is also the closest at 64 light years.


Ah yes, I'm thinking in 2-D. Gotta get my 3-D thinking cap on.
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Message 1538426 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 10:22:57 UTC - in response to Message 1538423.

Ursa Major or Great Bear is a star constellation. As such, one cannot think in terms of the distance to it because the stars that make up the constellation are not located in the same general area in space. Epsilon UMa, one of the stars that make up the constellation is also the closest at 64 light years.


Ah yes, I'm thinking in 2-D. Gotta get my 3-D thinking cap on.


:)
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Message 1538489 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 13:39:06 UTC - in response to Message 1538234.

How many light years away is this? What galaxy is it in? It doesn't really seem to say.

I think that is one of the questions they want to answer.
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Message 1538791 - Posted: 9 Jul 2014, 23:36:38 UTC

If any of the hypothesized non-exotic sources of these particles were located in our galaxy it would be immediately evident. In fact the only potential source that *isn't* a galaxy-level process is a particular type of gigantic supernova which we would know about if it happened in the milky way. So they come from outside our galaxy (unless they are caused by some sort of string-theory process).

So they will be looking in the direction of the blob for colliding galaxies, radio galaxies, and that sort of thing. All of it far outside the Milky Way much much farther away than the stars that make up the Big Dipper.

Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Mysterious "blob" emitting unusually high numbers of powerful cosmic rays.

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