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04.19.12 News
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IceCube Neutrino Observatory Explores Origin of Cosmic Rays

Analysis of data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a massive detector deployed in the deep ice at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, provides new insights into the production of cosmic rays thought to possibly originate in gamma-ray bursts – the most luminous explosions in the Universe. While cosmic rays were discovered 100 years ago, their origin remains one of the most enduring mysteries in physics. Now, IceCube is homing in on how the highest energy cosmic rays are produced.

"Although we have not discovered where cosmic rays come from, we have taken a major step towards ruling out one of the leading predictions," said Francis Halzen, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin -Madison and the IceCube principal investigator.

Image credit: NASA/D.Berry