Astronomers first tracked the neutrino source. It was a blazer from the center of the galaxy, the rays from which went to Earth for billions of years.
The last few years in the development of astronomy led to fundamental changes in the industry – scientists were able to make cosmic discoveries without having to register photons. By and large, this was made possible thanks to the LIGO observatory, capable of detecting gravitational waves. However, the top of scientific progress at the current moment is the IceCube observatory, with the help of which astronomers for the first time could determine the source of the smallest cosmic particles called neutrinos. Their research is published in the journal Science.
High-energy cosmic particles that fall on Earth – one of the greatest mysteries of mankind. What is capable of producing such phenomenal energy, which is a million times greater than that generated by the most powerful accelerators created by man. And this riddle is solved. The scientist was the first to trace the path of neutrinos. The particles were sent by the blazar of a supermassive black hole located in the center of the galaxy.
The IceCube Observatory was developed specifically to determine neutrinos from space. It is built on the Antarctic station Amundsen-Scott and is located deep in the ice. The system is equipped with a set of optical sensors, located at a depth of 1450 to 2450 meters. These sensors detect the radiation produced by muons – unstable elementary particles with a negative charge.
Until now, IceCube has registered dozens of neutrinos, but in areas where indicated their path, they could not detect anything. Last September, the observatory specialists caught a neutrino with tremendous energy (event 170922A) and sent out data to astronomers around the world who began to search for its source. A week later, the team of the Fermi Space Observatory reported that the signal comes from blazar TXS 0506 + 056, an active galaxy near the constellation of Orion. In the nuclei of such a galaxy, a supermassive black hole transforms energy into powerful jets. Accelerated particles traveled to Earth four billion years.
Scientists also determined that in this direction from 2012 to 2015 at least 13 neutrinos were sent. Further observations of TXS 0506 + 056 will give a clearer idea of the properties of a blazar, and will also allow astronomers to better understand the most extreme conditions in the universe.
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