NASA, ESA, Zolt Levay

Accidental Discovery of new Method for Creating High-Energy Shockwaves that Accelerate Astrophysical Particles

While investigating the behavior of magnetic field lines in plasma, researchers accidentally found indicators of density changes in the plasma, which is what happens when a shock wave of high Mach value is forming.

Similar high energy shock waves occur everywhere in the universe and are significant because they can accelerate the speed of supernova rays and cosmic rays to nearly the speed of light. The fastest of these happen too far away, way beyond our solar system, to be studied close enough to be helpful to researchers and those nearer to Earth travel too fast for spacecraft to collect proper data…


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