An international joint research team composed of 125 Korean, US, Japanese, and Russian scientists discovered where extreme energy cosmic rays come from.
On July 8, Hanyang University announced that a joint research team called “Telescope Array” found that cosmic rays of extreme energy are created near the Big Dipper.
Extreme energy refers to the largest amount of energy that is measurable, and cosmic rays mean particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and sometimes even reach the surface. Cosmic rays were first discovered in 1912, but the origin, generator, and the process of propagation have been unknown for 100 years.
The research team set up the largest observatory in the northern hemisphere with 500 particle detectors and 3 large telescopes in the Utah desert of the US with an investment of 25 billion won in 2008, and observed the cosmic rays until 2013. After observing 72 cosmic rays, the team found that 19 of them originate from near the Big Dipper. The research findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letter.
Six Korean professors participated in this study: Chun Byung-kyu and Kim Hang-bae from Hanyang University, Park Il-heung from Sungkyungkwan University, Yang Jong-man from Ewha Womans University, Ryu Dong-soo from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, and Kwon Young-joong from Yonsei University.
Professor Chun said, “Extreme energy is not diffused throughout the universe, but comes from a specific area. Our research is significant in that we discovered that extreme energies occur near the Big Dipper.” He added, “I think that scientists will be able to figure out how to make the most of extreme energy only after 50 years from now.”