cwnl:

Famous Star Explosion May Help Solve Cosmic Mystery

A well-known exploded star that is pumping out powerful gamma rays may be the celestial smoking gun astronomers have in the search for the origins of some of the fastest-moving particles in the universe, a new study reports.

NASA’s Fermi space telescope has detected gamma rays — the highest-energy form of light — emanating from the shattered husk of Tycho’s supernova, a star that exploded in 1572. The find could help astronomers pinpoint the origin of cosmic rays, super-speedy subatomic particles that crash constantly into Earth’s atmosphere, researchers said.

“This detection gives us another piece of evidence supporting the notion that supernova remnants can accelerate cosmic rays,” study co-author Stefan Funk, of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University in California, said in a statement.

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