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The ghost particles that fell into Antarctica can be traced back to stars torn apart by black holes



After approaching the black hole, a star was torn into pieces. Scientists have detected neutrinos-“ghost particles” from such events for the first time.

Science Communication Laboratory DESY

On October 1, 2019, the Earth struck with an invisible high-energy cosmic bullet moving almost at the speed of light.Every time these galaxy bullets pass through our body second We don’t even know, so there is not much attention to this planet-but this particular projectile is very special. At the end of the world, this ghostly particle ended after colliding with an ice molecule. Fortunately, it happened to operate next to a very sensitive detector embedded below the South Pole.

This reconnaissance triggered an interstellar hunt by the interstellar chasers. What fired the bullet?

In a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, scientists detailed the process of detecting a subatomic particle called a neutrino at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica.Researchers used data from the Zwicky Transient Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California to trace the origin of the subatomic bullet, which can be traced back to an extreme event about 700 million years ago: a star was destroyed after being destroyed by a fragment Black hole.

This is the first time such an event has been linked to neutrino detection.

Neutrinos are often referred to as “ghost particles” because they have no charge and almost lose their mass. Like light, they basically move straight from the destination. Other charged particles are dominated by magnetic fields, but neutrinos simply pass through the universe unhindered. We know that they are gushing out from the sun’s nucleus in large quantities. On the earth, we can manufacture them in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

In April 2019, the Zwicky facility discovered bright light around a black hole about 700 million light-years away. When a star is too close to a black hole, a halo is produced, and the mass of the black hole is 30 million times larger than the sun.The huge gravity of the black hole stretches the star, and eventually Pasta, Torn apart by extreme force. This is called a “tidal destruction event” or TDE.

For astronomers, the violent end of stars is a glorious beginning. They were able to link TDE with IceCube’s detection of neutrinos. The researchers conducted a theoretical analysis of TDE, throwing about half of the broken stars into space, while the rest settled around the black hole in the huge “accretion disk” composed of heat, bright dust, gas, and debris . The field energy around the black hole in the disc causes a large amount of matter to be ejected from the system. These jets can last for hundreds of days, and can explain the small time interval between seeing TDE and detecting neutrinos on IceCube.

Astrophysicists believe that this indicates that there are Gifted person Particle accelerators can produce high-energy neutrinos, some of which may collide with the earth.

Walter Winter, a theoretical astrophysicist at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY), said: “Neutrinos appeared relatively late, about half a year after the start of the stellar feast.” “Our model is natural. Explained the timing.”

Winter and co-author Cecilia Lunardini published their model in the same issue of Natural Astronomy on Monday.

Artist's rendering of the accretion disk around the supermassive black hole.

This is the appearance of the accretion disk surrounding the supermassive black hole. The jet flows from the central black hole. The light on the top of the black hole is actually emitted from the other side of the black hole-the black hole bends space-time, so it looks like it is haloed.

Science Communication Laboratory DESY

For astronomers who want to understand the universe in a new way, the discovery of neutrinos from TDE is a breakthrough.Scientists can only Tracing the origin of neutrinos Once before. IceCube also performed this test. In 2017, researchers at the observatory detected the signal signature of neutrinos and warned astronomers about this phenomenon.The telescope can trace the source of neutrinos to a distant galaxy, in which there is a “blazar”-a huge black hole surrounded by an accretion disk, with jets aimed at directly In the observer.

Both tests have shown that black holes are gunners among the galaxies, they emit ghost particles from the depths of the universe. This can help astronomers gain insight into the processes occurring near black holes, and even solve the mystery that has plagued astrophysics since the 1960s: Where do the ultra-high-energy cosmic rays that sometimes shatter into the Earth’s atmosphere come from?

Since the Zwicky Transient Facility began to survey the sky, researchers have detected many TDEs, and more sensitive telescopes may be able to further link these energetic particles to events in the future. IceCube is also crucial to improving our understanding. Despite the pandemic, the observatory will be upgraded during the Antarctic seasons of 2022 and 2023, which will increase the number of neutrinos detected by a factor of 10.

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