There’s a long and colorful history of people trying to unlock the secret of how the Egyptian pyramids were built—and possibly find hidden rooms and corridors, for good measure. And now, a new international project aims to peer through the stone walls of these ancient structures, using cosmic rays.
This is simultaneously cool and horrifying. Cosmic rays are actually particles—tiny protons and neutrons, that shoot through space. They’re too small to see, but astronauts may still be seeing them.
Cosmic rays rain down on the Earth every day. Most of them don't have that much of an effect, but some cause a chain reaction that makes an "air shower," raining billions of particles down onto the ground.
As far as universal limits go, the speed of light gets all the glory. But did you know there is a different speed limit for particles? It's called the GZK limit, and some people think it has already been exceeded. Which has some pretty weird implications for the laws of the universe.
An Italian scientist has taken 37 years worth of data from both Voyager space probes and turned it into music. The result is surprisingly good.
Every so often, incredibly energetic charged particles will reach Earth - and we're not sure what could possibly be powerful enough to generate these cosmic rays. Now we might have the answer...and it's just an absurdly specific set of circumstances.
450 million years ago, the Earth's warm oceans teemed with life we'd recognize as seaweed, starfish, clams, and coral reefs. Suddenly, over half these species died. Now scientists say it was caused by cosmic rays - and could happen again.
If you were wondering what the drastic decrease in solar activity might mean to you and me, wonder no longer — cosmic rays are hitting Earth at a much higher rate than any time in the last 50 years.