It appears they come from some of the universe's most violent locales. The team describes the discovery in the video below. Scientists can not generate such high vitality particles on Earth so we have to depend on heavens to strengthen our comprehension of the elevated vitality processes, said Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation, which funded IceCube.
"The most extreme cosmic explosions produce gravitational waves, and the most extreme cosmic accelerators produce high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays", explained Regina Caputo of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and analysis coordinator for the Fermi Large Area Telescope Collaboration. "Such breakthroughs are only possible through a long-term commitment to fundamental research and investment in superb research facilities".
Q: How is this new result announced by the IceCube Collaboration (read a related press release) - which shows a likely source of high-energy neutrinos - important for the field of astrophysics? This will clearly help the scientists examine objects in deep space.
Astronomers long have relied upon electromagnetic observations - studying light - but this approach has limitations because too many aspects of the universe are indecipherable using light alone.
Cosmic rays are known to be mostly protons or atomic nuclei. Scientists believe that neutrinos are created as a by-product of cosmic rays. Neutrinos are uncharged particles, unaffected by even the most powerful magnetic field.
Canadian scientists are part of an global team that has for the first time tracked a tiny, high-energy twist of matter to its source in deep space.
An worldwide team of scientists, with key contributions from researchers at the University of Maryland, has found the first evidence of a source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, ghostly subatomic particles that travel to Earth unhindered for billions of light years from the most extreme environments in the universe.
The researchers detail this discovery in a trio of papers published July 12, one in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters and the other two in Science. Just a tiny fraction of neutrinos will run into anything on Earth, but scientists just detected one from outside our galaxy for the first time ever. "This is what IceCube was built to do, and it's an exciting time for neutrino astronomy".
Telescopes on the ground and in orbit immediately started scanning the region of space the neutrino came from, searching for anything that might have been energetic enough to launch it. It is designated by astronomers as TXS 0506+056. Just within minutes of recording the activity, the IceCube alerted different astronomical laboratories across the world. Concurrently, the Swift and HESS instruments detected signs (e.g., gamma rays) consistent with flaring (the emission of cosmic rays) in TXS 0506+056. A later follow-up by MAGIC detected gamma rays of even higher energies.
INTEGRAL, which surveys the sky in hard X-rays and soft gamma rays, is also sensitive to transient high-energy sources across the whole sky.
"We have been looking for the sources of cosmic rays for more than a century, and we finally found one", Francis Halzen, lead scientist at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Space.com.