Based on news that we had last week, we know now that approximately four billion years ago, the axis of a black hole aimed at our planet. A jet of particles sent neutrinos and photons in Earth’s direction at a speed close to that of light. One of these neutrinos was caught by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole and later analyzed.
The IceCube-170922A neutrino
The source of the subatomic particle was identified as a blazar, about one billion times more massive than our sun, located 3.7 billion light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Orion. Blazars are not something new to scientists, however, it wasn’t known for sure if they could generate high-energy neutrinos and never before has such a neutrino been tracked down to its source.
A new type of astronomy lies ahead of us
This new discovery made by IceCube may lead the path to an entirely new type of astronomy, called neutrino astronomy. Scientists have long waited for such a significant moment. The new findings may help astronomers understand a part of the most energetic phenomena that takes place in the universe. The stream of neutrinos from the blazar that was discovered last year in September continues to provide a great understanding of the physical processes that happen close to the black hole and its intense jet of radiation and particles.
The future looks bright for the scientific world
The machine that was able to detect the neutrino is located in a far-away land, at around – 30 degrees Celsius. The South Pole provided the best conditions to build a neutrino telescope and now, as a result of the scientists’ hard work, we are able to witness a moment in time when astronomy gets more and more captivating. We hope that these tiny particles that barely interact with other matter will answer some of the questions astronomers had for a very long time.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.