Astronomers have detected a rare and extremely high-energy particle falling to Earth from space, named Amaterasu after the sun goddess in Japanese mythology.
Amaterasu is one of the highest-energy cosmic rays ever detected, with an energy exceeding 240 exa-electron volts (EeV), much higher than particles at the Large Hadron Collider.
The origins of Amaterasu are unknown, and experts believe only powerful celestial events larger than a star explosion can produce such high-energy particles.
John Matthews, a research professor at the University of Utah, states that traditional energetic events like supernovae are not energetic enough for particles like Amaterasu; it requires huge amounts of energy and high magnetic fields.
Amaterasu was detected by the Telescope Array observatory in Utah, and it emerged from the Local Void, an empty area of space bordering the Milky Way galaxy.
The discovery raises questions about the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, as the trajectory of these particles doesn't lead to any known high-energy sources.
The scientists hope that studying Amaterasu will lead to further investigations and provide insights into the origin and nature of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
There are speculations about possible explanations, including defects in the structure of spacetime and colliding cosmic strings, but no conventional explanation has been established.
Experts suggest potential explanations, such as larger magnetic deflection, an unidentified source in the Local Void, or incomplete understanding of high-energy particle physics.
The mystery challenges conventional explanations, with scientists considering unconventional ideas like defects in spacetime or colliding cosmic strings.