© CNRS Images - 2016

Radio Cosmic





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Cosmic rays constantly sweep past the Earth. Whilst in great number, most low energy rays come from the Sun, whereas high and even very high energy rays much less frequently come as messengers of the Universe, whose origin scientists are at pains to explain where they come from.
Addressing this question on the origins of those extremely high energy particles would amount to solve a primordial enigma on the nature of the extremely violent phenomena occurring in the Universe.
In the province of Mendoza, the Pierre Auger observatory is a temple of sorts for the detection of high energy cosmic rays. On this vast territory of some 3000 square kilometres, it operates various instruments including 1600 evenly spaced particle sensors and 4 highly sensitive telescope stations.
One of the experimental paths being explored to improve the detection of cosmic ray air showers on a large scale consists in developing antennae to capture the electromagnetic waves formed by the electrons in air showers.
If results were confirmed, the new antennae could be installed in Argentina to enhance the system and thus contribute to unveil the mystery of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. A shorter version of the film entitled "Le mystère des rayons cosmiques" (The mystery of cosmic rays) is available.

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