Read here the full article on the CORDIS page Radio bursts help us home in on the mysterious origin of cosmic rays: A novel technique for observing cosmic rays using radio telescopes can shed light on where in the universe these powerful particles come from – and what is producing them.
The source of cosmic rays – charged particles that move at close to the speed of light – is one of astronomy’s enduring mysteries. While light reaches astronomers more or less in a straight line from its source, cosmic rays are deflected by magnetic fields, obscuring their origins. The EU-funded LOFAR project pioneered a novel radio telescope method to observe cosmic rays and learn more about them.
ERC grantee Stijn Buitink and his team at VUB in Belgium used a new technique, identifying cosmic particles by the radio pulse they emit as they collide with Earth’s atmosphere. The signals were detected with LOFAR, an array of 20 000 small radio antennae in the Netherlands.
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